Unexplained characters in formula

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Don Wells
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Unexplained characters in formula

Post by Don Wells »

I have received a spreadsheet with many cell formulae containing a plus sign (+), immediately after the initial equal sign (=). Example: =+(K10-1)*L10+1 I am suspicious that this is just an idiosyncrasy of the user, but I don't know if there are any subtle consequences to it. Does anyone have further insight?

Similarly I came across the at sign (@). Example: =+@OFFSET(Sheet2.... I read that this is a consequence of maintaining compatibility between different versions of Excel. Is there anything that one should be aware of regarding this character?
Regards
Don

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HansV
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Re: Unexplained characters in formula

Post by HansV »

In Lotus 1-2-3, Excel's predecessor, typing a + was the most common way to start a formula. Excel accepts this for compatibility, and adds a = before the +. Now, almost 40 years later, I still frequently encounter workbooks in which all formulas start with =+
It doesn't have any side effects.

Another idiosyncratic usage is to use SUM where it isn't needed. For example, =SUM(A1) or =SUM(A1+A2+A3+A4). I guess that sme people think that every formula has to use a function.

The @ in for example =@OFFSET(...) is the implicit intersection operator. It does not change the outcome of the formula - see Implicit intersection operator: @
Regards,
Hans

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Don Wells
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Re: Unexplained characters in formula

Post by Don Wells »

Thank you Hans.
Regards
Don

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ChrisGreaves
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Re: Unexplained characters in formula

Post by ChrisGreaves »

HansV wrote:
25 Apr 2021, 07:39
...Another idiosyncratic usage is to use ...
The VLookUp() function as much as possible because the class instructor showed it to them on day two, and they are so proud to know how to weasel it into a place in a spreadsheet!
I speak as one who knows two such people here in Bonavista!
Cheers
Chris
I have been in a state of countesslessness all my life