Google Sheets/excel question
February 5, 2015 6:19 PM   Subscribe

So I am trying to do a simple equation in the googlesheets/excel and it is not working. any ideas why? So this is what I am trying to find =11/9752, but using the cells rather than typing in the numbers. I want to make this a rate, so x100,000. I keep getting an errror. Thanks! so cell A1 IS "11" and cell A2 is "9752" it should be=a1/a2*100000 but I get an error
posted by cheetahchick to Computers & Internet (10 answers total)
 
I just tried that in Excel and it worked fine (112.7974). What is the data format of the formula cell?
posted by any portmanteau in a storm at 6:29 PM on February 5, 2015 [1 favorite]


Works fine in Sheets as well. Are you typing in the cell names or clicking to select them in your formula?
posted by any portmanteau in a storm at 6:31 PM on February 5, 2015


Can you check how the numbers are entered in cells a1 and a2? If a2 is entered as text, you will get an error since Excel will think you are dividing by zero.
posted by TORunner at 6:31 PM on February 5, 2015


My Google sheet gives 112.79737, agree that your cell data format is likely to blame.
posted by contraption at 6:32 PM on February 5, 2015


What's the error, by the way?
posted by contraption at 6:32 PM on February 5, 2015 [2 favorites]


I've had enough problems with google sheets that i refuse to use it for anything except displaying premade documents anymore, for what it's worth.

if you're having the same problem in excel as well, i'd try the suggestions above. but if this is all in sheets well.. screw sheets.
posted by emptythought at 7:47 PM on February 5, 2015 [1 favorite]


It worked fine for me, as well. I find that changing the cell format has no effect on whether it detects an error or not.
posted by SpacemanStix at 7:54 PM on February 5, 2015


First: yeah, what's the actual error?

Second:

so cell A1 IS "11" and cell A2 is "9752"

Excel has loads of ways of showing a number, but not believing it's a number. Might you have spaces or apostrophes in either of these cells that aren't being displayed?

You might try:

=(VALUE(TRIM(A1))/VALUE(TRIM(A2)))*100000

...which should at least eliminate many versions of that issue.
posted by pompomtom at 8:18 PM on February 5, 2015


Enter your numbers as
=11
=9752
That (should) ensure that they are interpreted by Sheets as numbers rather than as text.
posted by flug at 7:57 AM on February 6, 2015


I will say, though, that when I try this in Sheets, even if I type in the numbers as text like '11 and '9752 and also set them to text format using the "format" menu, if I multiply them with a formula such as the one you are using, it still works fine.

So there might be something unusual about your particular browser, setup, or the exact content of the cells.

Like maybe one of them was copy/pasted from somewhere else and has an invisible text character of some time as part of it?
posted by flug at 8:05 AM on February 6, 2015


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