Friday, 29 September 2017

Adding comments within formulas using the “N” function


As you’re getting more advanced with Excel, you’re probably finding that you’re not quite sure what a formula does if you look back at it after a few days or weeks.

Did you know that you can add a description within your formula and not affect the result? The “N” function turns non-numbers into numbers (dates to serial numbers, for example) and anything else to zero (i.e. text). So you can add a comment by using the “N” function to replace your text with zero without affecting the formula itself. Confused? Try this and see what happens:

=7*4+N("Number of days in 4 weeks")

You should see that everything within the “N” brackets is ignored, therefore allowing you to add your own notes to formulas and better remember what they do!

Neil Shorney is director of Navanter, which owns the Naturally Spreadsheets brand - Excel training in person or via live e-learning to professionals around the world.