Microsoft Office Tutorials and References

In Depth Information

**Using the N Function to Add a Comment to a Formula**

ExpenseTotal is still a valid name by using =ISREF(ExpenseTotal). Here
’
s

an example:

=IF(ISREF(ExpenseTotal),ExpenseTotal*2,"Named Range Has Been De-

leted")

Using the

Using the
N
Function to Add a Comment to a Formula

Function to Add a Comment to a Formula

You can call Excel
’
s N function a creative use for an obsolete function.

Lotus 1-2-3 used to offer an N() function that converted a value as follows:

•
N(any number) returned that number.

•
N(a date) returned the serial number of the date.

•
N(True) returned 1.

•
N(False) returned 0.

•
N(any error) returned the error.

•
N(any text) returned 0.

None of these functions is terribly interesting. You can replicate just about

any of them by referring to the value and changing the cell format.

An interesting unintended use of the function is that N(anytext) always re-

turns zero. A useful trick is to insert a comment about a formula by adding

the N function to the end of the formula. However, make sure that your com-

ment contains text. Because N(text) is zero, the outcome of the function does

not change. When you come back to the formula several months later, you can

see the comment in the formula bar (see
Figure 12.15
)
.