Summary Table: Error Values

Excel puts error values in a cell to tell you that something is wrong. In Project 3  you saw  ###### and #REF! There are several others that you will run into from time to time.

Error Value




Column is too narrow to show the whole number

Widen the column.


Cell reference in formula is not valid because you deleted the cell or pasted something else over it.

Rewrite the formula.


A formula expects a number but the cell you name has only text in it. For example the formula =B3+B4 would give this error if B4 contains text.

Rewrite your formula to refer to the correct cells or use a function that will ignore text, like = SUM(B3:B4).


A value you used in a formula or as an argument for a function is "Not Available" now. You can enter this expression in a cell yourself to show that you haven't entered data yet.

To do the calculation you will have to get the values.


Your formula tried to divide with a cell which is blank or has value of 0.

Change the cell reference or enter a non-zero value in the cell to divide with. If the cell contains #N/A (for Not Available), then the formula will give #N/A as the answer, too.


You used a name for a range or a function that Excel does not understand. Perhaps you misspelled it or left out the colon in a range reference.

Correct spelling. Include the colon in all ranges. Make sure the name or function exists.


There is a problem with a number in a formula or function. It may be too large or small for Excel to handle. It might be the wrong type for a function, like text instead of a number.

Check for wrong type of arguments. Revise the formula or change your whole strategy if the answers will not fit in Excel.


You referred to the intersection of two data regions which do not really intersect.

Correct your formula. Possibly use the union of two regions that do not intersect instead.

Working with Numbers Appendix

Teachers: Request permission to use this site with your class

Copyright 1997-2012 Jan Smith   <>
All Rights Reserved

Icon: DonwloadIcon: CDWant a local copy with no ads? - Download/CD
Want to help?

~~  1 Cor. 10:31 ...whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. ~~