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  • Writer's pictureQuest Computer Skills

Error Values in Excel

Updated: Sep 26, 2019

Error values, such as #N/A, #VALUE!, #REF!, #DIV/0!, #NUM!, #NAME? or #NULL! appear in cells when a formula is incorrect and cannot be calculated. Error values always begin with a number sign (#)

#DIV/0 - Division by zero


The division operation in your formula refers to a cell that contains the value 0 or is blank.

#N/A - No value available


Technically, this is not an error value but a special value that you can manually enter into a cell to indicate that you don't yet have a necessary value.

#NAME? - Excel doesn't recognize a name


This error value appears when you incorrectly type the range name, refer to a deleted range name, or forget to put quotation marks around a text string in a formula.

#NULL! - You specified an intersection of two cell ranges whose cells don't actually intersect


Because a space indicates an intersection, this error will occur if you insert a space instead of a comma (the union operator) between ranges used in function arguments.

#NUM! - Problem with a number in the formula


This error can be caused by an invalid argument in an Excel function or a formula that produces a number too large or too small to be represented in the worksheet.

#REF! - Invalid cell reference


This error occurs when you delete a cell referred to in the formula or if you paste cells over the ones referred to in the formula.

#VALUE! - Wrong type of argument in a function or wrong type of operator


This error is most often the result of specifying a mathematical operation with one or more cells that contain text.

When a formula yields an error value (other than #N/A) in a cell, Excel displays a green triangular error indicator in the upper-left corner of the cell and an alert options button appears to the left of that cell when you make it active.


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