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Written by Jacky Chou

Iferror: Excel Formulae Explained

Key Takeaway:

  • The IFERROR formula is used to handle errors in Excel formulas. It helps to display a custom message or value when an error occurs, making it easier to identify and fix the problem.
  • The syntax of IFERROR formula is: =IFERROR(value, value_if_error). The first value is the formula or calculation that may produce an error, and the second value is the custom message or value to display if an error occurs.
  • The main purpose of IFERROR formula is to handle unable to calculate errors and custom errors. Unable to calculate errors occur when a formula tries to divide by zero or use an invalid cell reference. Custom errors can be created using the #N/A or #VALUE! elements.
  • IFERROR and ISERROR formulas are often compared, but they serve different purposes. The ISERROR formula only checks for error values and returns TRUE or FALSE, while IFERROR formula handles error values and returns a custom message or value.
  • Examples of using IFERROR formula include handling unable to calculate errors by displaying a custom message, such as “division by zero error” or “invalid cell reference error”. Custom errors can also be handled by displaying a message, such as “data not available” or “invalid input”.

Are you struggling with using IFERROR in Excel? In this blog, you’ll learn how to write formulae with IFERROR to handle errors in your Excel sheets with ease. Whether you’re new to Excel or an expert, this blog will help you master the basics of IFERROR.

Syntax of IFERROR Formula

The IFERROR formula in Excel provides a way to handle error values in a cell or a formula. Here is a brief guide on how to use the IFERROR formula:

  1. Start with =IFERROR(
  2. Add the formula or value to be evaluated for errors
  3. Add the value or formula to be returned if there is an error, followed by )

It is important to note that the IFERROR formula can only handle one error type at a time. If multiple error types need to be handled, the IF function can be used.

One pro tip for using the IFERROR formula is to always ensure that the error being handled is the specific error that is expected. This will prevent unintended errors from being masked. For more advanced error handling, the IFNA formula can also be used.

Purpose of IFERROR Formula

IFERROR formula is great for tackling errors in Microsoft Excel. Let’s explore its purpose and how to use it. We’ll look at two subsections:

  1. handling errors that cannot be calculated
  2. handling custom errors.

Get ready to handle errors like a pro!

Handling Unable to Calculate Errors

When formulas don’t have sufficient data to run, Unable to Calculate Errors occur in Excel. IFERROR function handles such scenarios by substituting an error message with a user-defined alternative statement or value.

This ensures that the output isn’t compromised and is more readable for the user. It saves time and prevents users from manually investigating and correcting each error cell.

IFERROR function not only improves productivity but also elevates the quality of work by reducing errors and improving efficiency.

Make sure to incorporate IFERROR function while designing complex excel sheets as it adds an extra layer of robustness to your document, allowing smooth working even when unanticipated errors occur.

Custom errors are like a bag of mixed nuts – you never know what you’re going to get, but with IFERROR, at least you’ll be prepared for the worst.

Handling Custom Errors

Custom Error Handling in IFERROR Excel Formula Avoidance can be easily managed with computed data. It is essential to create a pattern that effectively handles any custom errors that occur during calculation. This helps avoid complicated scenarios, making the handling of exceptions more efficient.

One way to manage custom errors is by using the “IFERROR” formula as this will help in identifying and properly dealing with errors instead of having them show up unresolved on the spreadsheet. As a result, it helps save valuable time when trying to figure out where the error occurred.

When using IFERROR, it is advisable to keep track of frequent error messages that are common within your team or company and create customized error messages for each specific scenario. This minimizes confusion when an error occurs, especially if those working with spreadsheets are not familiar with every operation carried out.

A similar formula to IFERROR is “IFNA,” which allows you to specify an alternate result when the value of a calculated cell is “#N/A,” whereas the former handles general errors such as #VALUE or #DIV/0!.

Custom error handling was first introduced in Excel 2007 and has since been enhanced over time, providing additional features aimed at improving work productivity and reducing turnaround times.

In the past, manually inspecting cells for errors was a tedious process involving repetitive searches through rows after rows of datasets looking for anomalous values. Having flexible means for dealing with custom errors improves efficiency towards achieving precision output while also adding clarity to complex data computations.

Why settle for ISERROR when IFERROR brings so much more to the Excel table?


IFERROR and ISERROR are two formulas in Excel that help to handle errors in cell values. The IFERROR formula replaces an error with a user-defined message or value, while the ISERROR formula checks if a value is an error and returns TRUE or FALSE. The main difference between the two formulas is that IFERROR can perform a specific action in case of an error, while ISERROR only checks if the value is an error. It’s important to use these formulas to avoid errors in your calculations and ensure accuracy in your data analysis.

When using IFERROR, you can specify the value or message you want to display if an error occurs. For example, the formula =IFERROR(A1/B1, “Error: Divide by zero”) will return the result of A1/B1 if it’s not an error, and will display the message “Error: Divide by zero” if it is an error. On the other hand, ISERROR simply checks if the value is an error and returns either TRUE or FALSE. For example, the formula =ISERROR(A1/B1) will return TRUE if A1/B1 is an error and FALSE if it’s not.

One unique aspect of these formulas is that you can also use them with other functions. For instance, the formula =IFERROR(VLOOKUP(A1,B:C,2,FALSE),”N/A”) will return the matching value from the second column of data if there’s a match, and will display “N/A” if there’s an error. This can be particularly useful when working with large data sets or when you need to ensure the accuracy of your calculations.

Pro Tip: Using IFERROR and ISERROR can help ensure the accuracy and integrity of your Excel calculations. By replacing errors with user-defined values or messages, you can prevent incorrect data analysis and save time in the long run.

Examples of IFERROR Formula

Wondering how to manage calculation and custom errors in Excel formulae? Check out the IFERROR: Excel Formulae Explained section. It has two subsections – “Handling Unable to Calculate Errors” and “Handling Custom Errors” – to guide you. You can modify and customize your Excel formulae to suit your spreadsheet needs.

Example of Handling Unable to Calculate Errors

When dealing with errors in Excel, it can be frustrating when your formula is unable to calculate. However, there are ways to handle these errors and ensure your spreadsheet remains accurate and reliable.

Here is a 4-step guide to handling errors in Excel:

  1. Identify the cells with the error using the Formula Auditing tool.
  2. Wrap the formula causing the error in an IFERROR function.
  3. Customize the message that appears when an error is encountered.
  4. Apply this method to all formulas that may encounter errors.

It’s important to note that IFERROR functions can only handle certain types of errors, such as #N/A or #DIV/0!. For other types of errors, different methods may need to be used.

When using IFERROR, it is also recommended to keep your custom error messages concise and clear. Lengthy messages may not be visible in narrow cells or on smaller screens.

One real-life example where this method was useful was when a complex dataset needed to be processed but kept returning an error due to erroneous values. By identifying and wrapping the formulas in IFERROR functions, the team was able to quickly identify and correct any mistakes, leading to a more accurate final product.

Because even Excel can’t handle all our mistakes, let’s see how we can customize our errors with IFERROR.

Example of Handling Custom Errors

Customize error handling with Excel’s IFERROR formula using these easy steps:

  1. Identify the custom error message.
  2. Create the formula in a new cell or edit existing formulas.
  3. Enter the expression that produces an error.
  4. Insert the custom message to be displayed.

Don’t miss out on this Excel tip! Impress your colleagues by becoming an IFERROR pro today.

Some Facts About “IFERROR: Excel Formulae Explained”:

  • ✅ IFERROR is an Excel function that allows you to handle errors in a formula. (Source: Microsoft)
  • ✅ The function helps to improve the accuracy and reliability of spreadsheet calculations. (Source: Excel Easy)
  • ✅ IFERROR can be used to replace errors with a custom message or a value. (Source: Ablebits)
  • ✅ The function works with a wide range of Excel formulas, including VLOOKUP, INDEX, and MATCH. (Source: Spreadsheeto)
  • ✅ Using IFERROR can save time and reduce frustration when working with complex spreadsheets. (Source: Vertex42)

FAQs about Iferror: Excel Formulae Explained

What is IFERROR: Excel Formulae Explained?

IFERROR is an Excel function that helps you handle errors. IFERROR tests for errors and, if there are no errors, a specified value is returned. This function can be applied to any formula.

Why is IFERROR important?

Excel has a lot of built-in formulas with a lot of opportunities for error. When you’re working with numbers, you want to make sure you’re getting the right results. Using IFERROR in your formulas can help ensure that you don’t get inaccurate information because of a mistake.

How do I use IFERROR?

You simply add the IFERROR function to your formula, followed by the formula you want to use. For example:


This formula will return the value found in the VLOOKUP function, or an empty string if the VLOOKUP function returns an error.

What are some common errors IFERROR can help with?

IFERROR can help with several errors, including:

  • #N/A: This error occurs when Excel can’t find a value you’re looking for.
  • #DIV/0!: This error occurs when you’re trying to divide a number by zero.
  • #VALUE!: This error occurs when you’re using the wrong type of argument in a function.

Are there any limitations to using IFERROR?

One limitation to using IFERROR is that it may hide a genuine error that you need to know about. IFERROR can be a useful tool, but you shouldn’t rely on it entirely. It’s important to check your formulas and data for errors manually as well.

Can I use IFERROR with other functions?

Yes, you can use IFERROR with any other function in Excel. The important thing is to make sure you’re using it properly by placing it in the right place in your formula.

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