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# Simplest way to change what is displayed when an Excel formula results in an error

Posted on 2016-08-17
Medium Priority
85 Views
Hello,

I seem to remember a simple and shorter way to define results when adding the Excel ISERROR() function to the beginning of a formula.

Can someone tell me if that's true, and if so, remind me what it is?

At the time this issue came to mind, I was using the following formula in a setting in which I knew that many of the cells would have errors (ie the presence of the errors is not the problem):

``````=VLOOKUP(VALUE(TRIM(SUBSTITUTE(S17,"G",""))),Table,2,0)
``````
However, the error cells currently display #N/A and my desire is simply to display a more subtle indicator for error, namely, a backtick (`) (instead of the #N/A).

I came up with the following solution, and it does the trick (ie displays ` rather than #N/A in cells with errors) but its a bulkier and more cumbersome formula than what I remember:
``````=IF(ISERROR(
VLOOKUP(VALUE(TRIM(SUBSTITUTE(S17,"G",""))),Table,2,0)),"`",
VLOOKUP(VALUE(TRIM(SUBSTITUTE(S17,"G",""))),Table,2,0))
``````
Is there a way to simplify that?

Thanks
0
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LVL 47

Accepted Solution

Wayne Taylor (webtubbs) earned 2000 total points
ID: 41760414
Yep. Use IFERROR instead of ISERROR...

=IFERROR(VLOOKUP(VALUE(TRIM(SUBSTITUTE(S17,"G",""))),Table,2,0), "`")
1

LVL 32

Expert Comment

ID: 41760469
What excel version you are using?
If you are using 2007 or later, you may use the IFERROR function as suggested by Wayne.
0

LVL 47

Expert Comment

ID: 41760474
Previous questions suggest they use XL 2010. And does anyone use XL 2003 anymore?
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LVL 32

Expert Comment

ID: 41760480
@Wayne
0

LVL 22

Expert Comment

ID: 41760577
Excel 2003 is still in use, but I don't often see examples now.

A universal solution could be to use Conditional Formatting to hide errors, read this

You can also use ISNA

= IF ( ISNA (your formula ) , " " , your formula )

Remember that errors can often be useful though, if they are hidden then the user may not be aware that an error is occurring.
0

Author Comment

ID: 41761753
Yep. Use IFERROR instead of ISERROR...
"Yep" Wayne, that is exactly what I was after. I didn't recall that there was an "IF" and "IS" flavor so I was looking for something else. I'll never forget again though, after seeing them side-by-side. Many thanks.

What excel version you are using?
2010

You can also use ISNA
= IF ( ISNA (your formula ) , " " , your formula )
One of the great perks of a subscription to EE: learning about things you never before knew existed. Thanks Roy

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