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4.6 Adjacent Cells Error in Excel Calculations

Let us pause for just a moment and kind of move away from using functions. I want to show something off here because it is a common question that I get at this point within this Excel training.

If you take-a-look at spreadsheet, we got some row labels with bills, we got some months and totals and percent, we got a nice row total there for each of our months and we got some additional calculations for min max average and accounts. I have not completed my count yet, I am going to do that in a moment.

If we look closely at some of formulas in cell B11, some of them have a little green triangle in the corner, see all those there.

Adjacent Cells Error in Excel Calculations 1

What is that all about, This is a pretty common question, I get people asking well what is happening here. If I click into one of those cells, I am going to get a little box. It is a little diamond with an explanation mark in there and it looks like something is wrong.

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You can look it, what is wrong. If I click that little box this tells me that the formula omits adjacent cells. Excel is always trying to be helpful.

Excel’s a very smart application but it does not have a lot of context built into it. It just sees numbers or text, it does not know that all these numbers are bills these values are text values for labels, these numbers are dates. They are different from currency amounts. It does not have that context, It just sees numbers and text.

Now, I am select B8 cell, you have saw the formula is SUM(B4:B7)

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I click on diamond button beside, then click Update Formula to Include Cells

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Now, the formula is SUM(B3:B7), it include text in B3 cell, but I get 45236 that is wrong result.

Click Ctrl+Z to undo

I am going to go ahead and highlight all those cells and I will select Ignore Error.

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Well they are not errors, It is just excel trying to be helpful sometimes. In this case we can ignore it, we do not need it.

So, go through clean that up if you are getting those little triangles clean up those errors, make sure Excel understands what we are trying to do.


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