Microsoft Office Tutorials and References

In Depth Information

When a cell with an erroneous formula is the active cell, an Error button is displayed

next to it. Pointing to the Error button causes it to display an arrow on the button’s right

edge. Clicking the arrow displays a menu with options that provide information about

the error and offer to help you ix it.

The following table lists the most common error codes and what they mean.

Error code

Description

The column isn’t wide enough to display the value.

#####

The formula has the wrong type of argument (such as text in a cell where

a numerical value is required).

#VALUE!

The formula contains text that Excel doesn’t recognize (such as an unknown

named range).

#NAME?

The formula refers to a cell that doesn’t exist (which can happen whenever

cells are deleted).

#REF!

The formula attempts to divide by zero.

#DIV/0!

Another technique you can use to find the source of formula errors is to ensure that

the appropriate cells are providing values for the formula. For example, you might

want to calculate the total number of deliveries for a service level, but you could

accidentally create a formula referring to the service levels’ names instead of their

package quantities. You can identify the source of an error by having Excel trace a

cell’s
precedents
, which are the cells with values used in the active cell’s formula. To

do so, click the Formulas tab, and then in the Formula Auditing group, click Trace

Precedents. When you do, Excel identifies those cells by drawing a blue tracer arrow

from the precedents to the active cell.