# What do { } brackets mean when they encompass a function?

1. ## What do { } brackets mean when they encompass a function?

What do { } brackets mean when they encompass a function?

The following function, which works when the spreadsheet is opened, is in a
spreadsheet I inherited. If you arrow onto the cell containing this function
it shows up just as shown below:

{=SUM(IF(H\$8:H\$27="+",\$F\$8:\$F\$27,0))}

once the cell containing the function is doubleclicked the, the function
then looks like: =SUM(IF(H\$8:H\$27="+",\$F\$8:\$F\$27,0))
and when 'enter' is pressed the cell reads: #VALUE!

If the same cell is double-clicked to go into edit mode and the brackets are
added at the front and rear of the function, just as shown above, after
'enter' is pressed the cell reads: =SUM(IF(H\$8:H\$27="-",\$F\$8:\$F\$27,0))

I've used various functions quite a bit, but have never seen this before.  Register To Reply

2. ## RE: What do { } brackets mean when they encompass a function?

The brackets indicate an Array Formula. It changes how Excel handles the
calculations. To enter an array formula, use the key combination
CTRL-SHIFT-ENTER rather than just Enter.

HTH,
Elkar

"BedeviledByBrackets" wrote:

> What do { } brackets mean when they encompass a function?
>
> The following function, which works when the spreadsheet is opened, is in a
> spreadsheet I inherited. If you arrow onto the cell containing this function
> it shows up just as shown below:
>
> {=SUM(IF(H\$8:H\$27="+",\$F\$8:\$F\$27,0))}
>
> once the cell containing the function is doubleclicked the, the function
> then looks like: =SUM(IF(H\$8:H\$27="+",\$F\$8:\$F\$27,0))
> and when 'enter' is pressed the cell reads: #VALUE!
>
> If the same cell is double-clicked to go into edit mode and the brackets are
> added at the front and rear of the function, just as shown above, after
> 'enter' is pressed the cell reads: =SUM(IF(H\$8:H\$27="-",\$F\$8:\$F\$27,0))
>
> I've used various functions quite a bit, but have never seen this before.  Register To Reply

3. ## Re: What do { } brackets mean when they encompass a function?

Hello:

It is an array formula, the brackets are added by Excel when you enter
the formula by using <shift><cntrl><enter>.

Pieter Vandenberg

BedeviledByBrackets <BedeviledByBrackets@discussions.microsoft.com> wrote:
: What do { } brackets mean when they encompass a function?

: The following function, which works when the spreadsheet is opened, is in a
: spreadsheet I inherited. If you arrow onto the cell containing this function
: it shows up just as shown below:

: {=SUM(IF(H\$8:H\$27="+",\$F\$8:\$F\$27,0))}

: once the cell containing the function is doubleclicked the, the function
: then looks like: =SUM(IF(H\$8:H\$27="+",\$F\$8:\$F\$27,0))
: and when 'enter' is pressed the cell reads: #VALUE!

: If the same cell is double-clicked to go into edit mode and the brackets are
: added at the front and rear of the function, just as shown above, after
: 'enter' is pressed the cell reads: =SUM(IF(H\$8:H\$27="-",\$F\$8:\$F\$27,0))

: I've used various functions quite a bit, but have never seen this before.  Register To Reply

4. ## RE: What do { } brackets mean when they encompass a function?

Chip also has a discussion about array formulas.

http://www.cpearson.com/excel/array.htm

"BedeviledByBrackets" wrote:

> What do { } brackets mean when they encompass a function?
>
> The following function, which works when the spreadsheet is opened, is in a
> spreadsheet I inherited. If you arrow onto the cell containing this function
> it shows up just as shown below:
>
> {=SUM(IF(H\$8:H\$27="+",\$F\$8:\$F\$27,0))}
>
> once the cell containing the function is doubleclicked the, the function
> then looks like: =SUM(IF(H\$8:H\$27="+",\$F\$8:\$F\$27,0))
> and when 'enter' is pressed the cell reads: #VALUE!
>
> If the same cell is double-clicked to go into edit mode and the brackets are
> added at the front and rear of the function, just as shown above, after
> 'enter' is pressed the cell reads: =SUM(IF(H\$8:H\$27="-",\$F\$8:\$F\$27,0))
>
> I've used various functions quite a bit, but have never seen this before.  Register To Reply