Full Version: Formula with leading plus sign?
doctor9
I've been asked to look over a spreadsheet created by someone that's no longer with our company.

He's got a few formulas that sem to have an extra plus sign in them, and I was wondering if this is something important.

Simplified example:
Where I would have typed:
=A1/3

He's got:
=+A1/3

They both work, and they both return the same result. Is it some sort of formatting trick, like leading text with a carat to make it centered? Or is it some kind of refinement to the formula that I can't understand?

Dennis
bredmell
Dennis,

I may be wrong because it's been years since I used Lotus 123, but I seem to remember that Lotus used a plus sign to precede a formula. Is it possible that this may have been a Lotus worksheet that was converted to Excel and this formula is the result of that conversion?

Bruce
NateO
I have to agree w/ Bruce....

I think this is an old Lotus thing, which either started with @FunctionCall() or +FunctionCall()...

But Excel (which unremarkably replicates a lot of old Lotus Functionality... ) has a habit of doing even when creating Excel Spreadsheets from scratch...

Basically what you have is a non-operative, functionally-speaking, operator. E.g., +0 = 0.

Personally, I try to get rid of the plus operators in =+FunctionCall(), but they won't hurt you in any way that I can think of.
KingMartin
I remember that in the former Excel times, 3.0, 4.0 or so, the "+" sign was just in order to enter a formula directly from a keyboard without using a mouse.

I can't remember its advantages over "=" (I am a mouse person, myself) but I've seen people to use + at the beginning of a formula a lot. (OK, back in mid 90's )

Martin
doctor9
Thanks guys. That actually makes a bit of sense. This spreadsheet could certainly have been adapted or imported from an old Lotus spreadsheet.

I'm just glad it doesn't seem to be something important. I was tempted to start cleaning them out to make the formulas more readable, but I wanted a little reassurance first that I wasn't doing something foolish.

Dennis
Coldbrain
My boss types formulas this way.. really what he is doing is instead of typing = then the formula he types + then the formula.. he uses the keypad and after you finish the formula it changes to =+..

Faster if you are typing lots of numbers..

Perhaps adapted from Lotus or perhaps just user preference..

CB
bredmell
Dennis,

I'm sure this has already occurred to you, but since I've had to rebuild too many spreadsheets, DB's, etc. because of a failure to do so, make a backup and then go ahead and make changes. If something goes wrong, no harm - no foul.

HTH

Bruce