The N() function. Comments Anyone?

Most people are familiar with Insert>Comment. Just right-click on a cell and select Insert>Comment. Very easy. Right-click on the comment to display it, edit it or delete it. You know there is a comment in a cell because of the red triangle in the upper right corner of the cell.
Comments

Using comments can be a pain as it is additional step and if you display the comment sometimes it can obscure other cells. A more interesting way to document formulas, in particular, is to use the N() function.
The N(item) function returns a zero when the item is a string so if I typed =Count(A1.A5)+N(“I am only counting numbers”) then the answer would be 2.=Count(A1.A5)=2+0 =2
N function This can be a nice quick way to provide information if you are creating a complex formula and want to remember what you are doing.

In the example below, I identified that I was looking up Unit Price based upon the Product ID   Now, if I had looked up Product Name instead of Unit Price, I would have received an error message if I had included the N() function. Can you guess why?  In that case instead of the resulting formula being 17.95+0=17.95 the formula would have been = “Bing Cherry”+0 =#VALUE!   You can’t add text and numbers together.  So, this may be useful, to some of you, if you use complex formulas and are always scratching your head wondering what the heck it says.N function with Vlookup

Comments are closed.

  • “Excellent Regulatory Review Course. The self-study format (E-Book) provided an excellent overview of the regulatory requirements for California CPAs. I will be using the E-Book as  a reference material. Thank you for providing a very comprehensive yet affordable option for this required CPE.”

    - Constance

  • Your ethics course was the most interesting and clear course I have taken. I usually dread the years it is required but this year was a pleasant surprise.

    - Terry

  • ” I was able to get a head start on my credit losses research through your CPE self study this past weekend.  Excellent quality format – so much better than some of the other resources I’ve been using lately.”  Dec 12, 2018

    - Andrea Ll.