Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Annotating a Formula without Using a Comment
Annotating a Formula without Using a Comment
The Excel comment feature is a great way to annotate your formulas. Just right-click the cell and
choose Insert Comment from the shortcut menu. You can then describe the formula any way you
like inside the comment.
This tip describes another, less obtrusive, way to annotate a formula. The trick involves Excel’s
rarely used N function. (This function is included in Excel primarily for compatibility with old
Lotus 1-2-3 files.) The N function takes one argument, and this argument is converted to a value.
When the argument is a text string, the N function returns 0. You can take advantage of this and
modify the formula so that it uses the N function.
Consider this simple formula:
=A4*.275
You can modify the formula to contain a comment. Because the N function returns 0, the
comment has no effect on the value returned by the formula:
=A4*.275+N(“27.5% represents the anticipated tax rate”)
 
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