# In Excel, can I provide a "default value" in case my formula returns #NA?

For example,

Say the value of a cell is:

``````IF(ISNA(VLOOKUP(A3,somesheet!G:J,3,FALSE) * VLOOKUP(A3,someothersheet!A:D,4,FALSE)), 0, VLOOKUP(A3,somesheet!G:J,3,FALSE) * VLOOKUP(A3,someothersheet!A:D,4,FALSE))
``````

Here, I want the product of the two VLOOKUPs. But some rows may not be there, so it could return NA. If it returns NA, just put zero in this cell, but otherwise I want the product.

It seems silly that you'd have to have that whole expression in there twice. Is there some shortcut where I can say "do this calculation, and if it returns a value, use that, but otherwise use some default value?

• I'm not sure how to do it correctly but have a look here mrexcel.com/td0110.html The last example should help Mar 8, 2012 at 15:19
• Your formula is perfect, I'm not sure what shortcut you want. You could define a user defined function but that will just make it shorter, not more involved. Mar 8, 2012 at 15:20

If you have Excel 2007 or later versions you can use IFERROR function to avoid repetition

`=IFERROR(VLOOKUP(A3,somesheet!G:J,3,FALSE)*VLOOKUP(A3,someothersheet!A:D,4,FALSE),0)`

or you can use a workaround like this in earlier versions

`=LOOKUP(9.9E+307,IF({1,0},0,VLOOKUP(A3,somesheet!G:J,3,FALSE)*VLOOKUP(A3,someothersheet!A:D,4,FALSE)))`

• That first example is exactly what I'm looking for. Thanks!
– Jer
Mar 8, 2012 at 19:06

It may make more sense to you if you checked the first lookup value for NA, and then checked the second, and if they're both valid then multiply them.

``````=IF(OR(ISNA(VLOOKUP(A3,somesheet!G:J,3,FALSE)),ISNA(VLOOKUP(A3,somesheet!A:D,4,FALSE))), 0, VLOOKUP(A3,somesheet!G:J,3,FALSE) * VLOOKUP(A3,somesheet!A:D,4,FALSE))
``````

This adds more complexity, but may not offend delicate programmer sensibilities. ;-)