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Excel/How to use return types


Hello i was using the search function and when it couldnot find the required thing, it gave me a "#value!" (without quotes).

What i wanted to know is the search function is returning this weird value for the reason i mentioned or i am doing something wrong.

Also how to use this bahaviour of functions. I mean if any of function returns such a value how can i put that in formula.

Eg: - I want to concatenate a1 with b1 if the search function could find the match, and if returns this weird value #value! then it should concatenate a1 and c1.

Here how to do it. I have tried this but didnt work.

=if(search("Find this text",A1,1)=#value, Concatenate(A1,B1), Concatenate(A1,C1)).

Please excuse me if i m being bit clumsy, but to sum up, i have 2 questions

(1) Solution to my example.
(2) When do functions return these values.
(3) How to use these return types.

If you find it a bit generalised one, you can refer me an article on these also apart for the example, but please do help me, i want to get this funda.

Thanks in Advance.

When you post here, please ask one specific question, and always illustrate it with a clear, simple, concrete example. Don't include any information that's not relevant to your specific question/example.

In this case: Say you wanted a formula that concatinates A1 and C1 IF A1 contains the string "find this text", and concatinates A1 and B1 otherwise. The formula is:

=A1&IF(ISERROR(SEARCH("find this text",A1)),B1,C1)
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Stuart Resnick


I can answer questions relating to MS Excel formulas, or to programming with vba (Visual Basic for Applications) in the Excel environment. Please follow the following guidelines: your question should focus on one specific issue you want to learn. It's beyond the scope of this free service for me to create entire projects or complex vba solutions for you from scratch. You should be able to do most of the work yourself, and come here when you need help with a specific point you're stuck on. ALWAYS include a simple, concrete example illustrating what you want to learn. Explain this example in detail in the text of your question (what data is in which cells of which sheets, etc). Be very precise about the results you want, using this sample to make the logic clear. Always keep these examples SIMPLE. Never e.g. use 18 worksheets in your example if using 2 or 3 will do. Never use ranges like AI567:BB865 if using a range like A1:B3 will do. Thanks.


As a consultant, I've designed Excel tools since the 90s, working for the Federal Reserve Bank, AT&T, and (currently) Gap Inc.

My only "education" comes from 2 decades of doing spreadsheet/programming work, with major SF Bay Area corporations such as AT&T, Federal Reserve Bank, and Gap Inc.

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