24 September, 2008

Referencing the value of a cell, not its formula

In Excel, I will use formulas quite frequently for my analysis. At times I want to reference the resulting value of the formula for a comparison or to feed another formula. Unfortunately, if you are doing a comparison, Excel will try to compare the formula instead of the formulas results. Well, turns out there is an easy way to correct this.

If you want your formula result to be a number, then use the VALUE function. If you want the formula result to be text, use the TEXT function.

Here is the syntax for each:
  • VALUE(text)
  • TEXT(value,format_text) -- The format_text value can be any format from the Category box on the Number tab (in the Format Cells dialog box) except General.

Here is an example of each:
  • =VALUE(MID(A2,46,FIND("&",A2)-46)) -- this actually finds a number beginning with the 46th character of a string, and continues until it find the ampersand character. By wrapping the formula with VALUE, I can now compare the number to other numbers in my lookup table.
  • =TEXT(IF(ISERROR(INDEX('Language Lookup'!$B$2:$B$37,MATCH(B2,'Language Lookup'!$A$2:$A$37,0))),"NA",INDEX('Language Lookup'!$B$2:$B$37,MATCH(B2,'Language Lookup'!$A$2:$A$37,0))),"#") -- This uses a formula I posted May 15, 2008 that is doing a lookup. Remember the syntax above, I use "#" to specify the format of my text.

1 comment:

CHRISdotTODD said...

I used the wrong text format of #. Try using "text". For example, =TEXT(CLEAN(C2),"text")