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# Dividing by the Sum of Multiple Cells

Posted on 2014-02-26
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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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LVL 92

Expert Comment

ID: 39888859
The formula is fine.  Please explain what you mean by "not working".
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LVL 51

Expert Comment

ID: 39888860
Hi,

Regards
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LVL 92

Expert Comment

ID: 39888900
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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LVL 23

Expert Comment

ID: 39889052
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 & Green
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Author Comment

ID: 39889214
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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LVL 23

Expert Comment

ID: 39891414
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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LVL 11

Expert Comment

ID: 39891559
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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Author Comment

ID: 39901169
I've requested that this question be deleted for the following reason:

Problem solved myself.
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LVL 23

Expert Comment

ID: 39901170
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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Accepted Solution

Matthew_B earned 0 total points
ID: 39909375
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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LVL 23

Expert Comment

ID: 39910000
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

ID: 39919988
Common sense
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