An Even Better Way

BY STANLEY ZAROWIN

In the September 2001 Tech Q&A column, we suggested a way in Excel to get rid of the dreaded #DIV/0 when you try to divide a number by 0. We suggested using the IF(). So, if you divide B2 by C2, the formula would look like this:

=IF(C2=0,“Please enter a divisor other than 0”,B2/C2)

This is what it would look like in Excel—with and without the IF formula:

Another way to solve the problem is to use the ISERROR function in an IF statement:

=IF(ISERROR(B2/C2),"",B2/C2)

The two quote marks with nothing between them will return a blank cell, which could be replaced with a 0 if you wish.

This solution has another advantage: It’s not likely to cause an error if that cell is summed in a formula.

(Submitted by Ryan R. Blazei, CPA, of Virchow, Krause & Co., LLP, Appleton, Wisconsin.)

Clarification
Occasionally I receive e-mails from readers who say they cannot activate a tip I mention in this column. More often than not, it’s because not all tips work in every edition of Windows.

I try to test shortcuts in two Windows editions: Windows 2000 and XP. As you can imagine, it would be very difficult to test them in every edition, and it would be equally difficult to find out which editions are incompatible with a tip. I apologize for the inconvenience.


Do you have a technology question for this column? Or, after reading an answer, do you have a better solution? Send them to Senior Editor Stanley Zarowin via e-mail at zarowin@mindspring.com . We regret that we cannot answer letters individually. If a reader’s question is deemed to have sufficiently broad interest, we will answer it in a forthcoming Technology Q&A column.

—The editors

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