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when is equal not equal - cell reference results to blank cell

  1. #1
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    Rhode Island
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    Excel for Mac 2011 and 2007 on PC

    when is equal not equal - cell reference results to blank cell

    This might really be a formatting kind of question, but I hope it can be managed through cell formula or function.

    As you may notice from a recent post, I'm working with database functions and tracking multiple cohorts within the database. So I tend to run a half dozen different DCOUNT functions below the database. When I want to change one indecie within the criteria range in all 6 of those, currently I have been entering it in the first range and then copying and pasting in the subsequent ones.

    So, it occurred to me that the obvious thing to do was to create a target cell. Enter my desired value in the target cell and then enter that Cell reference in my 6 criteria ranges.

    The problem is, in some cases, I want no criteria in a certain field (in other words all records with regard to that selection criteria). So I go to my target cell and blank it. But the cells referring to it all come up as zero instead of as blank. Although there is no = sign, this apparently creates a criteria so the DCOUNT functions won't count any cell whose value is not zero in that field which, needless to say, screws up my results.

    I deliberately added some cells with a 0 value into the database, but it doesn't count those either, so it is not looking for =0. I'm not sure what exactly it is doing but having a zero in that criteria is simply not equivalent to that cell being empty.

    Is there a way to create such a target relationship that would blank the criteria cells instead of setting them equal to zero if I blank the target cell.



  2. #2
    Forum Expert Palmetto's Avatar
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    South Eastern, USA
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    XP, 2007, 2010

    Re: when is equal not equal - cell reference results to blank cell

    It is likely there is a solution but this would be easier to follow if you posted a sample workbook manually showing the expected/desired result.

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