ISERR: Excel formulas explained
Hey there fellow spreadsheet enthusiasts, welcome to my article on the ever-essential ISERR function in Excel! I will explain everything crucial about this formula in detail so that you can work smarter and faster with this amazing tool.
You might have experienced the frustration of seeing the infamous #VALUE error message pop up in Excel before. This message often appears when a formula is trying to perform operations with incorrect types of data, or the function arguments are formatted in an incompatible way.
Fear not, for the ISERR formula comes to our rescue! This handy little function is used to identify whether a value gives an error other than #N/A, and returns a TRUE
value. You can use this formula to make your life easier if you’re working with a lot of data.
First off, let’s start with the basic syntax of the formula:
This tells Excel to check whether the value argument you entered returns an error other than #N/A. The function will return either TRUE
value letting you use that data on a conditional basis.
You can also use the more general ISERROR
function that checks for all possible errors, while ISERR only accounts for errors apart from the #N/A one. Both functions are very useful, but ISERR offers more refined error checking.
For example, let’s say you have a table with data in which some of the entries are #DIV/0! errors. You want to quickly identify those cells that contain this specific error. Enter: =ISERR(B2).
If B2 value contains an error other than #N/A, the formula will return TRUE, and if there is no error other than #N/A in B2, it will return FALSE. Simple enough, right? You can now easily copy and paste these values elsewhere or create a conditional formatting rule with this formula.
But wait, there’s more! Please stay with me, for we’re about to delve deeply into the heart of ISERR formula. This will be easy if you have followed along so far.
You can combine the ISERR function with its companions, IF, NOT, and IFERROR. Let's break down how IF
and ISERR work together.
function can make decisions based on TRUE
values. For instance, you can output a specific text string, value or formula result based on whether the evaluated statement is TRUE
So let’s say you have a string of values that you want to check for errors, and if there’s an error, you want to return “Error Found.” If everything is good, you want to return “OK.”
One way to accomplish this is to use the IF
function in combination with ISERR: =IF(ISERR(B2),"Error Found", "OK")
The amazing thing about this formula is being able to use it on long rows of data to quickly establish where the problems lie within your spreadsheet. The IF
function evaluates B2 in this example, and if it’s an error other than #N/A, it’s TRUE
and returns the first value, “Error Found.” If no error is present, the second value, “OK” will be returned.
The beauty of this formula is in its simplicity. You can add nested formulas within it, further optimizing your workflow.
Let's take it one step further. Imagine you’re working with an Excel spreadsheet for data pertaining to your overcomplicated holiday planning. You have columns containing accommodation name, cost, and availability.
You want to quickly evaluate whether or not a specific holiday booking is available, based on its cost, without having to filter through the whole data table.
Enter IF, ISERR, and IFERROR
once again! This formula is: =IF(IFERROR(B2/C2,"X"),"Not Available", "Available")
Here, the formula first checks if there is an error in the B2/C2 division, making use of the IFERROR
function. If there is an error, it returns X, which is flagged as TRUE
by the IF
function nested within it.
The entire IF
statement is now rendered TRUE
and will return “Not Available.” If there’s no error, the IFERROR
formula will return the actual result without generating an error, which renders the entire IF
and will return “Available.”
That wasn’t so difficult, was it? With some practice, these formulas will become like second nature to you.
In summary, mastering the ISERR formula is essential for Excel data processing and quick error-checking. With its ability to identify various errors and return TRUE
values, combined with conditional formulas like IF
and IFERROR, you can quickly flag problematic cells or entire spreadsheets that don't meet your preferred criteria.
Also, standing out in the Excel field means learning more and more about formulas, like ISERR, so learning this formula has very positive outcomes for your career.
I hope this article has equipped you well for your next foray into the world of Excel. Happy spreadsheeting!