Formula Errors in Google Sheets

Formula Parse Errors are Google's way to tell you that something is wrong with your work. Sometimes, when you run an equation or a command through Google Sheets, it may have been attempted in such a way that it was impossible to actually fulfill. Sort of a "square-block-through-a-round-hole" scenario.

It is in those situations that Google will display coded messages in the compromised cells, describing what went wrong. 

Today, I will list the major formula parse errors that you may encounter, as well as what you can do to fix them.

#N/A

#N/A! example

#N/A implies that the value you have tried to look up does not exist. This typically happens for me when I use the VLOOKUP formula or other functions like it.


What you can do to avoid this is to double check the equations, insure that the cells you referenced actually exist, and make sure you have proper notation.

#VALUE!

#VALUE! example

#VALUE! tells you that there is something wrong with your equation or function in such a way that the software can't even complete the function.


The best way to fix this is to double check your equation, and see if any phrases or letters got into your equation to screw the whole thing up.

#DIV/0!

#DIV/0! example

#DIV/0! is one of the more straightforward issues that one can come across. It is mathematically impossible to divide anything by 0. For instance, I can't cut a 12 inch pie into 0 inch pieces; the pie would turn into a black hole or something, I don't know.


This sort of error happens a lot when people divide through cell referencing. If you reference an empty cell, then Sheets will think that you're dividing by 0.

#NAME?

#NAME? example

The #NAME? error typically pops up when it cannot recognize the function or command that you issued.


If you encounter this parse error, double check your commands and correct your spelling.

#ERROR!

#ERROR! example

the #ERROR! message is basically Google Sheets' way of telling you they have absolutely no idea what you are saying, particularly when it comes to inserting things like quoted words and phrases.


Your best bet is to check the command window and make sure everything is in proper quotations.

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