| By Woody Leonhard |
Microsoft would have you believe that a recently discovered Excel 2007 bug amounts to little more than a display problem — a cosmetic glitch.
You may be surprised to discover that the erroneous results can spread throughout your spreadsheets, because this bug is more than skin deep.
Excel 2007′s problems with 65,535
Last week, in his Introduction column, editorial director Brian Livingston reported on a newly discovered bug in Excel 2007. When a calculation should produce the number 65,535, the spreadsheet program can cause the result to appear on-screen as 100,000. This bug shows its slithery head in Excel 2007 and in the Sharepoint-based Excel Services. But Excel 2003 has some eerily similar problems, as I explain near the end of this article.
If you have Excel 2007 installed, you can replicate the problem quite easily. Start Excel 2007. Click in, oh, cell A1. Type:
and press Enter. You see an incorrect result: 100,000. A quick trip to any calculator (or good ol’ pencil and paper) will verify that the answer should be 65,535.