Double-check your formulas

One of the most powerful features of Excel is the ability to create formulas. Girlfriend can use formulas come calculate novo values, analysis data, e much more. But formulas additionally have der downside: If you make even naquela small mistake as soon as typing a formula, the can give an untrue result.

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To do matters worse, your spreadsheet will not always tell girlfriend if a formula is wrong. It will usually just go ahead and run a calculations and give you ns wrong answer. It's approximately you come double-check your formulas whenever you create them.

We've placed together der list of tips you can use to aid check formulas for accuracy. These advice won't aid you resolve every difficulty you encounter, but they should carry out you with the tools to identify many usual errors.

Check a references

Most formulas usar at least one cell reference. As soon as you double-click naquela formula, it will certainly highlight all of ns referenced cells. You deserve to then double-check each one to make certain they estão correct.


Look porque o mix-ups

A common mistake is to use the correct cell references, but in a wrong order. For example, if you desire to subtract C2 são de C3, a formula must be =C3-C2, not =C2-C3.

Break the up

If der formula is too complicated to check, try breaking it up into several smaller sized formulas. This way, girlfriend can examine each formula for accuracy, and if there estão any troubles you will know precisely where they are.


Ballpark it

You can use your own experience, critical-thinking skills, and common sense to estimate what the answer should be. If Excel provides you a much bigger or smaller value than expected, there might be der problem with your formula (or with the values in ns cells).

For example, if you are calculating the venenoso price the 8 items that ser estar 98 cents each, the answer have to be slightly much less than $8. In the example below, the formula calculated ns answer as $784.00, which is incorrect. That's due to the fact that the preço in A2 era entered as 98, and it should have been 0.98. As you can see, even ns smallest details deserve to make a huge difference.


Note that this tip does not always work. In some cases, a wrong answer may be relatively close to ns correct answer. However, in many instances it can aid you easily catch naquela problem in your formula.

Check the arguments

If you're using naquela function, make sure each required argument is included. Naquela small dialog crate should appear as you're typing a function to let you recognize what arguments estão needed.

This have the right to be especially advantageous when you're trying come fix naquela function that's not functioning correctly. For example, let's look at the function below:


In the example above, a NETWORKDAYS function is return an error. If we enter a NETWORKDAYS role into der new cell, a reason becomes clear:


The NETWORKDAYS function requires at least two arguments—a começo date and an fim date. Our originais function only has uma argument, therefore we'll edit our function to include both arguments:

Now our role is working correctly!

Walk through ns order of operations

Remember the bespeak of operations em ~ math class? If not (or if you want naquela refresher), you deserve to check fora our complex Formulas lesson. Her spreadsheet will always use this ordering, which way it doesn't simply calculate der formula são de left come right. In a example below, a multiplication is calculated first, i m sorry isn't what us wanted. We could fix this formula through enclosing D2+D3 in parentheses.

Switch to formula view

If girlfriend have a lot the formulas and functions in your spreadsheet, you might want to move to formula view to see tudo of them at ns same time. Just hold ns Ctrl key and press ` (grave accent). The grave accent vital is usually located in the upper-left corner of a keyboard. Press Ctrl+` novamente to switch back to normal view.

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Remember, that takes a lot of prática to mestre writing formulas. Even a most skilled spreadsheet individuals encounter formula errors. If your formula doesn't job-related or produce an incorrect value, don't panic! more often than not, there's probably der simple factor your formula resulted in an error—once you find it, you'll it is in able to compreendo your formula working correctly.