Substitute characters for certain parentheses in Excel formulas

Steve_Brady
Steve_Brady used Ask the Experts™
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Hello,

Is there a way to use substitute characters for certain parentheses in Excel formulas?

As I'm sure anyone who writes many Excel formulas knows, keeping track of parentheses can sometimes be quite daunting.  Although Excel was kind enough to provide color codes (which help immensely) to keep things straight, I'm wondering if there is any way to also use other characters and somehow trick Excel into thinking they are parentheses.

I realize that several characters already have functions in formulas (e.g. $ and &).  But it seems like being able to use other characters which don't have a role could be helpful.  For example, suppose there was a way to enclose certain sections of a long formula with [square brackets] or {curly brackets}.* Even characters such as ^carets^ or #number signs# or |vertical bars (pipes)| seem like they could add a lot to keeping things straight.

That's probably kind of a crazy idea but I thought I would ask just in case.

Thanks

*I don't know if curly brackets need to be reserved only for array-saved formulas.
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Mechanical Engineer
Most Valuable Expert 2013
Top Expert 2013
Commented:
Steve,
There is no substitute for a parenthesis.

It might be possible to enter your formula as text, and then use a macro to do the replacement--but you'd have to stick with characters that would never otherwise appear in your formulas.

You might try typing the function name with its commas and parentheses before backtracking with the parameters. That way, you reduce the chance of getting mismatched.

Brad
Most Valuable Expert 2012
Top Expert 2012
Commented:
You can, however, create some spacial visualization using spaces and alt+enters when you are entering formulas.  In this way, you can de-compact long formulas into understandable nuggets.  Give that a shot!

Dave

Author

Commented:
Thanks guys.

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