Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Using Functions in Formulas
Trying to reference a nonexistent cell, range, worksheet, or workbook
Entering the wrong type of information into an argument function
This is by no means an exhaustive list of possible error conditions, but you
get the idea. So what does Excel do about it? There are a handful of errors
that Excel places into the cell with the problem formula.
Error Type
When It Happens
When you’re trying to divide by 0
#DIV/0!
#N/A!
When a formula or a function inside a formula cannot find the
referenced data
When text in a formula is not recognized
#NAME?
When a space was used instead of a comma in formulas that
reference multiple ranges; a comma is necessary to separate
range references
#NULL!
When a formula has numeric data that is invalid for the
operation type
#NUM!
#REF!
When a reference is invalid
#VALUE!
When the wrong type of operand or function argument is used
Chapter 4 discusses catching and handling formula errors in detail.
Using Functions in Formulas
Functions are like little utility programs that do a single thing. For example,
the SUM function sums up numbers, the COUNT function counts, and the
AVERAGE function calculates an average.
There are functions to handle many different needs: working with numbers,
working with text, working with dates and times, working with finance, and
so on. Functions can be combined and nested (one goes inside another).
Functions return a value, and this value can be combined with the results of
another function or formula. The possibilities are nearly endless.
But functions do not exist on their own. They are always a part of a formula.
Now that can mean that the formula is made up completely of the function or
that the formula combines the function with other functions, data, operators,
or references. But functions must follow the formula golden rule: Start with
the equal sign. Look at some examples:
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