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Excel Hacks by Raina Hawley, David Hawley

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Chapter 6. Hacking Formulas and Functions

Hacks #60-80

Formulas and functions provide the logic that powers spreadsheets. Managing programming logic is always a challenge, but keeping track of programming logic across multiple cells, sheets, and workbooks can be particularly difficult, especially as spreadsheets grow and are reused. What’s more, the formula and function capabilities built into Excel might not always be what you want, further complicating the situation. Fortunately, there are a lot of ways you can keep your formulas and functions sane.

Add Descriptive Text to Your Formulas

Excel’s named ranges and cell comments can help clarify formulas, but sometimes you want to put documentation into the formula itself. With the hacks in this section, you can add descriptive text to your formulas quickly and easily.

Even when you have written various formulas and functions yourself, coming back to them at a later date often requires that you follow cell references to try to figure out what the formulas are doing. It would be great if you could simply add to the end of your formula some text that wouldn’t interfere with the result, but would give you the information you require at a later stage.

The problem, of course, is that the moment you add or incorporate text into part of a formula, the result will no longer be numeric and cannot be used in further calculations. Excel does, however, provide one often-overlooked function that you can use to add descriptive text to formulas ...

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