A bane of using the IF function is that often it cascades with one or more other IF functions occurring in its arguments. In a worse-case scenario, these IF functions can cascade many levels deep. Debugging, or even constructing, these formulas can be very challenging. FormulaForge helps users construct such formulas by allowing them to […]

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RSS feed for this section# Dealing with Intermediate Computations

In complex spreadsheets, it’s not unusual to find cells whose values are computed from complicated combinations of subexpressions that contain many functions and operators. Trying to build formulas in these cells to produce the desired results can be very difficult. The reasons for this are three-fold. First, if a formula is complicated, then it may contain […]

# When Formulas Give the Wrong Results

Complicated formulas contain many functions and/or operators along with many subexpressions that serve as arguments for those functions or operands for those operators. When such a formula produces the wrong value, there is generally an error in one or more of its subexpressions. (If not, the formula’s principal function or operator must itself be producing […]

# The Value of Multiple, Synchronized Views

Different Excel users create different kinds of formulas. Some users create mathematical formulas, which are the Excel equivalent of formulas that appear in mathematics textbooks and articles; such formulas use functions (e.g., PI, EXP, and SQRT) and operators (+, -, etc.) to compute mathematical quantities. Some users create algorithmic formulas, which are the Excel equivalent […]

# Getting a Good Look at a Formula

Trying to understand a formula in Excel brings to mind the dilemma faced by residents of Flatland, the mythical two-dimensional kingdom in Edwin A. Abbot’s satirical 1884 novel, Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions. “All beings in Flatland, animate or inanimate, no matter what their form, present to our view the same, or nearly the […]

# The 30+ Inch Formula

The genesis of our development of FormulaForge was the accumulation of a variety of problems that the founders ran into over the years using Excel. These were epitomized by the time when one of my co-founders, Rob, constructed a formula that wrapped on his 30-inch monitor and had mismatched parentheses. Microsoft Excel, as usual, would […]