# Getting Google Spreadsheets to interpret string as formula

March 12, 2009 10:53 AM Subscribe

I have hundreds of text strings entered through a form in a Google Spreadsheets which look like

These Excel solution don't apply because I'm not always around when someone makes a new form entry.

With

However

Is there another solution?

**4*3 9*2 17*3 22 37*4 52**. I can easily substitute " " for "+" and concatenate a "=" in front**=4*3+9*2+17*3+22+37*4+52**. Now I have a text string which looks like a formula but isn't one. How can I make Google Spreadsheets interpret this string as a formula?These Excel solution don't apply because I'm not always around when someone makes a new form entry.

With

**=sum(split(A1,"+"))**it's possible to interpret a string like

**4+9+17+22**and get a correct result.

However

**=multiply(split(A1,"*"))**does not work for

**17*3**("

*Wrong number of arguments*", even though split should create 2 arguments here). So a combination of splits, multiply and sum also fail.

Is there another solution?

Copy all the cells and paste them into excel. They get properly calculated. then copy and paste them back into google docs.

posted by nyc_consultant at 5:16 PM on March 12, 2009

posted by nyc_consultant at 5:16 PM on March 12, 2009

Response by poster: I was looking for a solution where I do not have to intervene to get a result. A lot of people can make an entry through the form and they like to see the results (displayed in a graph) immediatly. They can not wait until somebody drops by.

As the product funtion works, I can now look for the correct order of splits, sum and multiply to do these calculations in 1 step.

posted by Akeem at 1:35 AM on March 13, 2009

As the product funtion works, I can now look for the correct order of splits, sum and multiply to do these calculations in 1 step.

posted by Akeem at 1:35 AM on March 13, 2009

This thread is closed to new comments.

posted by adamrice at 11:21 AM on March 12, 2009