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Chapter 4. Creating Advanced Formulas > Applying Data-Validation Rules to Cells

Applying Data-Validation Rules to Cells

It's an unfortunate fact of spreadsheet life that your formulas are only as good as the data they're given. It's the GIGO effect, as the programmers say: garbage in, garbage out. In worksheet terms, “garbage in” means entering erroneous or improper data into a formula's input cells. For basic data errors (for example, entering the wrong date or transposing a number's digits), there's not a lot you can do other than exhorting yourself or the people who use your worksheets to enter data carefully. Fortunately, you have a bit more control when it comes to preventing improper data entry. By “improper,” I mean data that falls in either of the following categories:

  • Data that is the wrong type—for example, entering a text string in a cell that requires a number

  • Data that falls outside of an allowable range—for example, entering 200 in a cell that requires a number between 1 and 100


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