This has happened before and it will happen again no doubt but when it happens it’s not always obvious that it has happened!!

What on earth am I talking about?

Yesterday I needed to show my delegates the second Payback period formula I had on my page in this blog. The quickest way for me to get it was to come here and copy and paste it, rather than downloading the file or searching for the file.

I copied and pasted the formula, did the editing and pressed Enter. Nope! Wouldn’t work. I did this, did that, looked here and looked there. Nothing. I abandoned it and said I would check overnight because I knew it could work.

After a couple more tweaks I decided I would retype the formula: it is not very long. It worked immediately. So I put the formulas in cells next to each other and toggled between the two cells. They looked identical but when I went into the cell I have copied from the web page I could see a slight twitch around a double invested comma. I toggled again and there it was: an inconsistent character in the copied formula.

That’s all: just beware of copying into Excel. I have seen problems like this before when copying from Word to Excel, power point to Excel and now a web page to Excel. Clearly it can be difficult to spot and sort out when the look perfect.

 

Duncan Williamson

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