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Excel Video 151 explains how to use IFERROR to replace all of Excel’s error messages with something more appropriate. IFERROR is a simple Excel function that takes a formula and evaluates it. If the formula works, fine. Excel will show you the result of the formula. If the formula results in an error, like dividing by zero in today’s example, IFERROR allows you to control what Excel does when it finds the error. The syntax is IFERROR(formula, what to do if the formula results in an error). In today’s example, we’ll add the text “Not Billed,” but you aren’t limited to text. You could also put a different formula in IFERROR so that Excel will try the first formula. If the first formula results in an error, Excel will use the second formula instead.
Using IFERROR to trap errors makes your reports look more polished and professional. Rather than present a report with obvious errors on it, IFERROR shows you’ve made the effort to review your work.
I’ll warn you in the video and I’ll warn you here as well. IFERROR catches all errors, so you always want to try your formula first to make sure you understand any errors before you replace all errors with whatever follows the comma in the IFERROR function. Make sure you understand the errors you’re fixing before you replace any and all errors. Obviously Excel can only catch errors like dividing by zero. If you accidentally divide CPT code 11111’s collections by CPT code 22222’s volume, Excel can’t catch those kinds of errors.
That’s the logical functions I wanted to discuss. Stay tuned next time and we’ll start text functions.