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I can't for the life of me remember but what does putting + after = in a formula actually do?

For example the difference between:

=+VLookup(A1,B1:B10,1,FALSE)

Compared with:

=VLookup(A1,B1:B10,1,FALSE)

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up vote 5 down vote accepted

I must admit I never encountered it previously, but from what I could dig up, looks like it has no meaning, and is just a history piece for people used to Lotus.

An article about differences between Excel and Lotus by Microsoft:

In Excel, you start a formula with an equal sign (=). You can also start a formula with a plus sign (+), as you would in Lotus 1-2-3.

and if you use just a plus sign, it gets translated to =+.

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I know that +formula(args) and =formula(args) (as the user entering a formula) are interpreted identically in most cases. I did find an exception to this at some point, but I can't remember what it was off the top of my head :-( - if I recall it or stumble on it again, and if I remember to come back here, I'll post it and let you know, just in case you're interested – Code Jockey Sep 23 '13 at 17:57

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