NAfunction in Google Sheets is not actually a function that performs a calculation. Instead, it is used to represent a missing or nonexistent value in a cell or formula. When you use the
NAfunction, it returns the error value #N/A, which tells you that there is no value in that cell or that a formula is missing an argument or reference. This can be helpful for troubleshooting errors in your spreadsheet.
NA formula with the syntax shown below:
ExamplesHere are a few example use cases that explain how to use the
NAformula in Google Sheets.
Handling missing data
If you have data that is missing in your spreadsheet, you can use the
NA function to represent those missing values. This can be helpful when you are performing calculations or creating charts, as it allows you to more easily identify which data is missing.
If you encounter an error in your spreadsheet, such as a formula that is missing a reference or argument, you can use the
NA function to help identify where the error is occurring. By using the
NA function in place of missing data, you can quickly see which cells or formulas are causing the error.
Creating blank cells
If you want to create a blank cell in your spreadsheet, you can use the
NA function. This is particularly useful if you want to create a blank space in a chart or graph, or if you want to create a template for data entry.
NAnot working? Here are some common mistakes people make when using the
NAGoogle Sheets Formula:
Using NA as a value
One common mistake is to use NA as a value in a cell. This can cause unexpected results in formulas that use the cell, as NA is a reserved value that indicates a missing or unknown value. To correct this, use a different value to represent missing or unknown data, such as an empty cell or a specific text string.
Using NA in a formula
Another common mistake is to use NA in a formula as an argument or operand. This can cause the formula to return unexpected results, as NA is a special value that propagates through some formula calculations. To correct this, use a different function or formula that handles missing or unknown data appropriately, such as IFERROR, ISBLANK, or IFNA.
Not understanding NA propagation
A common mistake when working with NA is not understanding how it propagates through formula calculations. NA can act as a 'poison pill' that causes some functions to return NA as well, even if other arguments or operands are valid. To avoid this, use functions and formulas that handle missing or unknown data explicitly, or use conditional logic to check for NA values before using them in further calculations.
The following functions are similar to
NA or are often used with it in a formula:
ISERRORformula is used to check if a value contains an error. This formula returns
TRUEif the value is an error, and
FALSEif it is not. This function is most commonly used in combination with other formulas that can return errors, to ensure that the resulting value is valid.
IFERRORformula is used to check whether a specified value results in an error or not. If the value results in an error, then it returns a user-specified value instead of the error. This function is commonly used to prevent errors from breaking a formula or to replace error messages with custom messages.
ERROR.TYPEformula returns a number indicating the type of error value in the given
reference. This formula is commonly used to identify error types and act accordingly, for example, to replace specific error types with a custom message or value.
You can learn more about the
NA Google Sheets function on Google Support.