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#value error when summing rows above

Posted on 2014-02-21
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Last Modified: 2014-02-26
Hi Expert's  excel 2007

I have formula in cell a2:a9 index match..which work fine..how every when I insert in riw a11 =sum (a1+a3+a5+a7+a9)...if the rows above are blank then cell a11 retruns #value error as opposed to blank.
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Question by:route217
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by:helpfinder
helpfinder earned 166 total points
ID: 39877002
it seems like some of the (a1+a3+a5+a7+a9) value is not nuberica, that´s because the #value

could you attach that workbook to analyze?
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by:pony10us
pony10us earned 167 total points
ID: 39877008
Try this:

=sum(a1,a3,a5,a7,a9)
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andrewssd3 earned 167 total points
ID: 39877218
If the cells are really empty, your formula should treat them as 0 and not cause the #VALUE! error. If they look blank, it is likely they contain as single space, say, which is non-numeric and will cause that error.

You have two different approaches to solve this:
you can fix the data in the summed cells by adding some error handling to ensure that if a non-numeric value is returned, it is displayed as 0 - e.g. an IF formula, or ISERROR
You can add the error handling to the SUM cell - this may e a little more complicated as you will probably have to use an array function.
Either way, it would help to see your data, and I agree with pony10us that your function should read =sum(a1,a3,a5,a7,a9) - the way you specify it you are summing the values by addition first, then using the SUM function, which is only summing the one (already summed) value, which is not wrong, but just pointless.
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by:route217
ID: 39877263
Thanks for the excellent feedback.
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by:pony10us
ID: 39877264
Thank you andrew,

I have also seen the method using the "+" cause the results being seen if there is non-numeric data in a cell where using the "," will normally correct it.  

Even Microsoft has an article about it:  http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/excel-help/correct-a-value-error-HP010342330.aspx
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