Re: All hail Neo!

From: Marshall Spight <>
Date: 26 Apr 2006 12:04:27 -0700
Message-ID: <>

JOG wrote:


> PMFJI, I thought it might be useful to point out that spreadsheets have
> had to address this problem since their inception. As far as I know
> they, by default, ignore empty cells when averaging ranges, as opposed
> to dropping out with an error. As such they view the empty cell as as
> not existing in the range at all. If all cells are empty then no range
> exists and an error results.


I just fired up Excel 2003. I entered two columns of numbers, and left one cell empty in each column. Then I set the formula for the third column to be col1 + col2. Then I got the sum of the first two column. It behaved exactly as I propose: missing values were ignored, both on the vertical sum and on the horizontal sum. This preserves the SUM(A) + SUM(B) = SUM(A+B) property as well.

Would anyone care to propose a plausible use case for not wanting this behavior?

Marshall Received on Wed Apr 26 2006 - 21:04:27 CEST

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