Microsoft KB Archive/175290

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XL97: #VALUE! Appears When Function Is Recalculated

The information in this article applies to:

  • Microsoft Excel 97 for Windows


In Microsoft Excel 97, cells that contain formulas that refer to user- defined functions may return a #VALUE! error after you run a Visual Basic for Applications macro or perform any action that causes the worksheet that contains the formulas to be recalculated.

Also, if a Visual Basic subroutine is running when the formulas are recalculated, the subroutine may stop without warning.


These problems may occur if an error occurs in a user-defined function while Excel is recalculating the worksheet.

For an example of this problem, see the "More Information" section later in this article.


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To work around this problem, press CTRL+ALT+F9 to force the values to be recalculated. When you do this, any formulas that refer to user-defined functions are recalculated correctly.

To prevent this problem from occurring, add error-handling code to your user-defined function, for example:

   Function MyFunction(CellRange As Object) As String
       On Error GoTo ErrorHandler                       'new line
       If CellRange.Interior.Pattern = xlNone Then
           MyFunction = "yes"
           MyFunction = "no"
       End If
       Exit Function                                    'new line
   ErrorHandler:                                        'new line
       '  You may want to use the following statement 
       '  to output the type of error result instead
       '  of a string result.
       'MyFunction = CVErr(xlErrValue) 
       MyFunction = "error"                             'new line
   End Function 

In this user-defined function, the line "On Error GoTo ErrorHandler" causes the function to continue if an error occurs. In this case, the error- handling code causes the function to return a value of "error," instead of "yes" or "no." After the formulas return "error," press CTRL+ALT+F9 to recalculate the worksheet.


Microsoft has confirmed this to be a problem in the Microsoft products listed at the beginning of this article.


In Microsoft Excel 97, if a user-defined function returns an error value, the formula that called the user-defined function and any other formulas that call the same user-defined function may fail to be recalculated properly. When this happens, the formulas may return a #VALUE! error.

Also, if the user-defined function returns an error value, any running Visual Basic subroutine that caused the recalculation to occur may stop. This may cause problems if the subroutine is running unattended.

To see examples of these problems, follow these steps:

  1. In Microsoft Excel 97, create a new workbook.
  2. On the Tools menu, point to Macro, and then click Visual Basic Editor. Then, click Module on the Insert menu.
  3. Enter the following code into the new module:

          Function MyFunction(CellRange As Object) As String
              'This line will fail when you delete a row from the worksheet.
              If CellRange.Interior.Pattern = xlNone Then
                  MyFunction = "yes"
                  MyFunction = "no"
              End If
          End Function
          Sub TestDelete()
              Rows(2).Delete              'Deleting a row forces
              MsgBox "Delete succeeded."
          End Sub 
  4. On the File menu, click "Close and Return to Microsoft Excel."
  5. Select cells A10:A12 in the worksheet. Type the following formula


    and press CTRL+ENTER.

    All three cells (A10, A11, A12) display the value "yes."

  6. On the Tools menu, point to Macro, and click Macros. Select TestDelete, and then click Run.

    Note that the three cells (A9, A10, A11) display the #VALUE! error value. Note also that the message box in the TestDelete subroutine is not displayed.
  7. Press CTRL+ALT+F9.

The three formulas are recalculated correctly.

If you use the MyFunction function in the "Workaround" section, the formulas do not return a #VALUE! error value when you run the TestDelete subroutine, and the message box in TestDelete is displayed correctly. However, you still must press CTRL+ALT+F9 to force the formulas to display the correct value, which is "yes."

Additional query words: XL97

Keywords : xlvbainfo xlformula
Version : WINDOWS:
Platform : WINDOWS
Issue type : kbbug
Technology :

Last Reviewed: April 7, 2000
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