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Dividing by the Sum of Multiple Cells

Posted on 2014-02-26
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Last Modified: 2014-03-11
I am trying to add five cells together and then divide the sum by another cell. Why does the formula below not work? What should I be doing differently?
= SUM(A4:E4)/B7
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Question by:Matthew_B
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by:Patrick Matthews
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The formula is fine.  Please explain what you mean by "not working".
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by:Rgonzo1971
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Hi,

Your formula is perfectly sound

What is your error?

Regards
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by:Patrick Matthews
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Make sure all of your cells have true numeric values in them.  Also, if B7 = 0, well, division by zero is undefined :)
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by:Eirman
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This is always a useful visual guide ....
When you click on your formula in the formula bar, the different parts of the formula will change colour. These colours should match up with the relevant cells below.
Have a look at Blue & GreenBlue & Green
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Author Comment

by:Matthew_B
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For some reason it kept coming up zero. I built a work around but I don't know why it kept giving zero.
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by:Eirman
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I don't know why it kept giving zero.
Very strange. Post the sheet here if you like. As you can see I reproduced the sheet and I get 13 in A3

If you ever run into this type of problem, break the formula into chunks ....
e.g. What happens if you enter = SUM(A4:E4) into F4
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by:JEaston
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I agree that it would be easier to troubleshoot if you could post your spreadsheet.  But one obvious issue comes to mind that I have seen before.

Check the cell formating in Excel.  If it is general or numeric it should work fine.  However if the cells in A4 - E4 are marked as Text then Excel will always return 0.  You may find after changing from text format to general you will need to re-type the numbers for the format to apply.
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by:Matthew_B
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I've requested that this question be deleted for the following reason:

Problem solved myself.
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by:Eirman
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Matthew_B.

Please explain how you resolved your problem, and why none of the information posted here was helpful to you.
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Matthew_B earned 0 total points
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Problem solved myself. When I typed everything over again I noticed that I did not have a space between the cell identifier and the division character. I didn't think that something like this would matter but the minute I added the space everything started to work. Thanks for the help anyway.

= SUM(A4:E4) / B7
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by:Eirman
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That's fine Mathew.

Many formulas will work with extra spaces, but you definitely do not need any spaces.
The re-typing must have fixed it. (Perhaps you used a backslash instead of a forward slash).

I guarantee you that your formula will still work if you delete the added spaces.
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Author Closing Comment

by:Matthew_B
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Common sense
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