# How to make excel auto calculate contents of a single cell

So, here is my problem. I have a cell "a1" containing this exact text "3+5". I want a formula that will make excel auto calculate in cell "a2" the sum of the contents, respectively "8". Can this be done ? Thanks

• This has some interesting answers here : stackoverflow.com/questions/4471884/… – Vylix May 13 '17 at 16:21
• @Vylix Not helpful – Kim May 13 '17 at 17:23
• Can you elaborate more on your requirement? The linked question already implies that there is no such function/formula, and the closest possible I can imagine is stackoverflow.com/a/4472470/3873736 – Vylix May 13 '17 at 19:01
• You are probably right. What if we can solve this another way. I was thinking about extracting the numbers in separate cells to solve this. First I will use this formula to extract the left side of the "+" sign "LEFT(A1;IF(ISERROR(FIND("+";A1;1));LEN(A1);FIND("+";A1;1)-1))" and then I use "RIGHT(A1;LEN(A1)-FIND("+";A1))" to extract the right side of the "+" sign. And it works well, until I get to the numbers with decimals and the right function doesn't work the way it suppose to or maybe I'm using it wrong (Example: 2+3.5). Maybe someone can help me solve the problem using this method. – Kim May 13 '17 at 19:36
• @Kim, Excel doesn't work the way you want it to. The linked SO question covers all the practical ways people have come up with to accomplish it. What you describe in your comment is basically to build a formula interpreter using Excel functions, which gets very unwieldy and impractical if it needs to handle a general case of any formula. The site tries to focus on real-world problems and practical solutions. People may not be interested in investing their time to develop a poor solution of potential use to one person just because the approach is possible. – fixer1234 May 13 '17 at 19:54