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Solved: Plus/Minus Symbols in Excel


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kaktus kaktus is offline
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23-Oct-2008, 03:34 PM #1
Smile Solved: Plus/Minus Symbols in Excel
I need to be able to use the plus + and the minus - symbol in excel. Every time I try, it turns it into some sort of formula. How can I make it so that I can actually SEE the symbol and use it as I need it.
It's for a chart for some special learning students and I need to mark whether or not they are improving or not, and I'd like those two symbols to represent their growth.
Any help would be appreciated.
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23-Oct-2008, 03:38 PM #2
Welcome to the forum. How do you want it to deduce if they need one plus or multiple pluses? How do you want to do the same for minuses? This is kind of vague so you will have to fill you in.
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23-Oct-2008, 03:51 PM #3
Deduce?
I don't want it to deduce or add or anything. I just want to view the ACTUAL plus and minus symbol.
My only other option, which will look kind of lousy, is to just print the darned thing out and WRITE the plus and minus symbol.
Sorry it was vague.
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23-Oct-2008, 03:53 PM #4
Here's a sorta, kinda example:

Student Growth
Bob +
Chuck +
Sally -
Susie +
Billy -
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23-Oct-2008, 03:55 PM #5
Are there values that it is comparing so that it places a plus or minus in the cell? This should be easy to do with an If function.
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23-Oct-2008, 04:03 PM #6
I agree. It SHOULD be easy. But it is not. I can find nobody who has any idea what I mean, although, I mean something so, very simple. I just want to see the ACTUAL plus or minus symbol.
There are only words on this paper. There are no values. Even when I try to type a plus or a minus into a blank worksheet, it tells me I'm going to add up some cells.

I do not want to add. I do not want to subtract. This has nothing whatsoever to do with arithmetic.

I have found that I can type the symbols into a text document and then copy and paste them into the cells. I suppose that is what I'll have to do.

Thank you for your attempts to help me.
Guess I will just have to do it in a word document.
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23-Oct-2008, 05:51 PM #7
All you need to do is add ' before any value in your cell. This is a comment symbol, it won't show but anything after it will exactly as is.

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24-Oct-2008, 01:24 AM #8
Or you can format the cell(s) as text, then enter your data. Other than that MRdNk is right, and it will interpret everything as a formula.
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24-Oct-2008, 07:05 AM #9
It should not be interpreting them as a formula unless she types an = beforehand. I just went and verified it and I can indeed type a + without it trying to add anything up. The = sign is what tells Excel to be aware that some sort of computation is about to happen. If for some reason yours is automatically trying to make a formula which it should not then you can comment it out like Mrdnk said.
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24-Oct-2008, 10:14 AM #10
Yes, it indeed does interpret that as a formula. It's Excel trying to auto-correct what it thinks you are entering. Try entering this in a cell...

-Jim

Notice that #NAME! error? Text as formula, without entering an = sign. Ugh.
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24-Oct-2008, 10:27 AM #11
Quote:
Originally Posted by kaktus View Post
Here's a sorta, kinda example:

Student Growth
Bob +
Chuck +
Sally -
Susie +
Billy -
Sorry, but even in General format a "+" or a "-" (without the quotes) just sits there. You can't enter -Zack or +Jim without an error, but your example, in which you start out with text identifies the whole cell as a text item.
So, how are your cells formatted that you are doing this???
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24-Oct-2008, 10:29 AM #12
=Bob+ gives and error (as does =Bob+1 or whatever, unless you have a list named Bob).
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24-Oct-2008, 10:55 AM #13
I thought Kaktus was trying to have the name in one cell and the plus in another. If you try typing this out it sits as plain text unless you use a leading = to designate it as a fomrula. The standard format is general so it should indeed not be changing it unless she has changed her options.
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24-Oct-2008, 10:58 AM #14
Well, as I do it, whether it is |Bob+| or |Bob|+|, I get no problems.
So, unless Kaktus is deriving the name and the outcome (+ or -) from a formula, I don't see a problem either.
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24-Oct-2008, 12:06 PM #15
Quote:
Originally Posted by slurpee55 View Post
Well, as I do it, whether it is |Bob+| or |Bob|+|, I get no problems.
So, unless Kaktus is deriving the name and the outcome (+ or -) from a formula, I don't see a problem either.
Agreed. That's funny I tested it with Bob, too.
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