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[solved] Excel Oddity

Discussion in 'Business Applications' started by sliderule, Apr 24, 2004.

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  1. sliderule

    sliderule Thread Starter

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    I had a puzzling problem trying to add a column of numbers in Excel 97 that I finally solved but I want to learn what caused it in order to prevent a reoccurence.

    I tried to AutoSum a column of 20 numbers and only got the total of the bottom 15. Checked the format of all cells and it was okay. Then I wrote the formula =SUM(D5:D25) and only got the sum of D8 thorugh D25. Next I wrote a different formula: =D5+D6+D7 . . . +D25, which worked. Finally I re-entered the numbers in cells D5 through D10 and PRESTO - AutoSum worked.

    Anyone have an idea what was wrong with those top five cells?
     
  2. kiwiguy

    kiwiguy

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    They were probably entered as text, and not numeric.
     
  3. sliderule

    sliderule Thread Starter

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    Kiwi, I checked the format of the cells a couple of times and it was numeric.
     
  4. ksquared

    ksquared

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    I was having the same problem (excell 2000). Even though the cell was fomatted as a "number" it still didn't SUM. What I found was that if the cells were formatted as "text" when I 1st populated them, they wouldn't SUM. I changed the format to "number" and they still wouldn't SUM. THe only way to get the SUM working was to retype my values after I had reformated as "number". I'm guessing that somewhere (don't know where) the original fomating is saved and that's what the funcitons use even though the formating has been changed. WHen you over write the cell data, it updates the area that the functions use (ie proof: virgin cells were formated as number, SUM worked. Changed the format to test and the sum still worked.) A glitch? (or bad guess). ANyway, thanks for asking the question. I'd love to understand what transpires behind the scenes of Excell.
     
  5. sliderule

    sliderule Thread Starter

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    Ksquared, thanks for your input, which is logical and fits well with my experience. It does give one pause for concern when one is relying on accurate sums. I'll just have to discipline myself to watch the graphics after I press AutoSum and make sure they encompass the entire range of cells.

    PROBLEM SOLVED; THANKS ALL.
     
  6. sliderule

    sliderule Thread Starter

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    Ksquared I just ran a test of your theory and confirmed it. Thanks again.
     
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