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How to Use the NA function

We can use the NA function to generate the #N/A error value. #N/A stands for “Not available”. The NA function is used to identify empty cells or any problem that arises in our calculation. The steps below will walk through its use.

Figure 1: How to Use the NA function

Syntax

=NA()

Formula

=IF(A4="",NA(),A4*B4)

Setting up the Data

  • We will set up the data by inputting the WEIGHT into Column A
  • We will input the cost per kg into Column B
  • Column C is where we want the formula to return the result with the #N/A error if there is an issue with our parameters

Figure 2: Setting up the Data

Using the NA function

  • We will click on Cell C4
  • We will insert the formula below into the cell
    =IF(A4="",NA(),A4*B4)
  • We will press the enter key

Figure 3: Output for Cell C4

  • We will click on Cell C4 again
  • We will double-click on the fill handle (the small plus sign at the bottom right of Cell C4) and drag down to copy the formula into the other cells

Figure 4: Output of the Formula in Column C

Explanation

=IF(A4="",NA(),A4*B4)

In this formula, the argument A4*B4 will return a number only if Cell A4 has a numeric value. If Cell A4 is empty, the #N/A error is returned as the result.

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