"Error In Formula" or Incorrect Calculation Entering Formula

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Article ID: 123194 - View products that this article applies to.
This article was previously published under Q123194
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SYMPTOMS

In Microsoft Excel, when you enter a formula in a cell on a worksheet, the formula may return an incorrect value, or you may receive the following error message:
Error in formula

CAUSE

This behavior occurs if the character that you use to separate values in your formula is different from the character that is entered as the list separator in the International dialog box in Microsoft Windows. For example, if you use a comma to separate values in your formula, and the list separator is set to a hyphen (-) character, you receive the error message above when you enter the formula on the worksheet.

WORKAROUND

To work around this problem, use either of the following methods.

Method 1: Use a List Separator from the International Dialog Box

When you enter a formula on a worksheet in Microsoft Excel, use the list separator character that is set in the International dialog box in the Control Panel.

Method 2: Change the List Separator in Windows

In Windows 3.x:
  1. From the Main group in Program Manager, run Control Panel.
  2. Double-click the International icon.
  3. In the List Separator box, enter the character you want to use as the list separator, and choose OK.
In Windows 95:
  1. On the Start menu, click Settings, then click Control Panel.
  2. Double-click the Regional Settings icon.
  3. Click on the Number tab.
  4. In the List Separator box, enter the character you want to use as the list separator, and choose OK.
NOTE: The character that you use for the list separator must be different from the character you use for the decimal separator. If the same character is used for both, you receive the following error message when you start Microsoft Excel:
The list and decimal separators specified by the system are identical. Substituting ';' for the list separator.

Properties

Article ID: 123194 - Last Review: August 15, 2003 - Revision: 1.1
APPLIES TO
  • Microsoft Excel 95a
  • Microsoft Excel 5.0c
  • Microsoft Excel 4.0a
  • Microsoft Excel 3.0 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Excel 2.1 Standard Edition
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KB123194
Retired KB Content Disclaimer
This article was written about products for which Microsoft no longer offers support. Therefore, this article is offered "as is" and will no longer be updated.

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