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As described in the title, is 'ABCD always exactly the same as ="ABCD" in a cell? It says that all the characters after the beginning apostrophe will be treated as string, so does that essentially equal ="ABCD"?

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up vote 1 down vote accepted

Yes it is , I tried the setup
A1 - 'ABCD
A2 - ="ABCD"

A3 - =AND(A1=A2) which gives the output TRUE

A4 - =AND(EXACT(A1,A2))gives the output TRUE
So it appears they are equivalent to each other

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Thanks! So 'ABCD is the syntactic sugar of ="ABCD". – Lei Zhao Jul 16 '13 at 9:35


' means format as text
="ABCD" sets the cell equal to the text ABCD
So, testing for one equal to the other returns True

Excel demo of equality

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