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Troubleshooting

Formula errors are most often the result of a typo or the inclusion of a cell or range reference that doesn't contain appropriate values for the formula. Typos can include misspellings, missing or inappropriate operators, or missing parentheses. These rules may help you avoid formula errors:

  • Type function names and range names in lowercase. You'll know immediately whether they're correct because Excel won't convert them to uppercase or proper case. Better yet, use the Paste Name and Paste Function dialog boxes to paste in the correct names.

  • Watch out for range references that accidentally use a semicolon instead of a colon (better yet, click and drag to select cell and range references, because Excel won't enter a semicolon by mistake).

  • Be sure that all nested functions, ranges, and arguments are held within a complete pair of parentheses, and that each left parenthesis has a matching right parenthesis.

  • Don't type punctuation, such as dollar signs or commas, when you enter constant values into your formulas. For example, =B7*$5,000 will result in an error message (the correct formula would be =B7*5000).

  • If you want to break the link between worksheets or workbooks, you can find the linking formulas by searching the worksheet for an exclamation point. Click Edit, Find, type ! in the Find what box, be sure Formulas is selected in the Look in box, and then click OK. To break a link, copy the cell that contains the link; then right-click the cell and click Paste Special, click Values, and click OK.


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