# Program to explain excel formula?

#### JustJohn91

##### New Member
Hi Everyone,

I have been tasked with explaining what every formula, in every spreadsheet, used in my organisation does. I am looking at having to explain hundreds of thousands of formula.

Does anyone know of a program that will explain formula in any format? An example of what i'm looking for is below. It doesn't have to exactly match the sample. Anything to help is greatly appreciated.

Thanks,
John

Formula:
 =IF(J90>=J83,J84,H81)

Explanation:
 If the value of Cell J90 is greater than or equal to the value of Cell J83 return the value of Cell J84. If the value of Cell J90 is not greater than or equal to the value of Cell J83 return the value of Cell H81.

#### MARK858

##### MrExcel MVP
I know of no program to do that and seriously that is not a realistic task.
Can you not teach them how to use the formula Evaluate and the built in function help?

#### RoryA

##### MrExcel MVP, Moderator
Who on earth tasked you with that?? That might be the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard in my life.

PS I deleted your duplicate posting - please don't post the same question more than once.

#### jmacleary

##### Well-known Member
I sympathise, but wonder if it might be better to send everyone on an excel course then they can do it for themselves.
I am pretty sure you will not find anything that will produce english-language decoding of even a simple formula like you show Excel does have a formula evaluate tool built in that may be a start, and the best I have found is a 'beautifier tool I came across a while ago that breaks a formula dorn into a structured layout - it may serve as a start point. have a look at Excel Formula Beautifier That said, if you have even 100,000 to do at a rate of 1 minute per, then it'll take you nearly a year to do!
I sincerely hope someone is able to come up with more help - I could use it on some of the legacy stuff I have to deal with!!

#### Joe4

Welcome to the Board!
and seriously that is not a realistic task.
I agree! That sounds pretty ludicrous!

Are you the new guy on board at your company?
That sounds like either:
- a joke you would play on someone
- an impossible task you give someone so that they will quit

Not trying to being snide, just think you might want to consider those possibilities.
If it is neither of those things, then keep this may be a sign that you are working for a company that may not think anything of making ridiculous requests (so just be aware of that).

#### jmacleary

##### Well-known Member
Welcome to the Board!

I agree! That sounds pretty ludicrous!

Are you the new guy on board at your company?
That sounds like either:
- a joke you would play on someone
- an impossible task you give someone so that they will quit

Not trying to being snide, just think you might want to consider those possibilities.
If it is neither of those things, then keep this may be a sign that you are working for a company that may not think anything of making ridiculous requests (so just be aware of that).
It looks that way to me too now you mention it.

#### Fluff

##### MrExcel MVP, Moderator
You sure it's not a prank? We used to send new engineers on a wild goose chase looking for a reticulating foofoo value. (it used to take them all day to suss what was happening)
Even if it was possible to convert your simple formula into words, how would it cope with something like
=IFERROR(INDEX(\$C\$2:\$C\$9,AGGREGATE(15,6,(ROW(\$C\$2:\$C\$9)-ROW(\$C\$2)+1)/((\$B\$2:\$B\$9=\$F2)*(\$A\$2:\$A\$9=\$G2)),COLUMNS(\$H1:H1))),"")

#### MARK858

##### MrExcel MVP
- a joke you would play on someone
My first thought too, l would click the cell in C5 in the link below copy the formula and ask if they really want me to try and explain it in words as someone is using it.

If it is not a joke then it is bad management to set a task that you know is not possible to complete.

#### JustJohn91

##### New Member

I know it is a ridiculous and unrealistic task but unfortunately, my reasoning and alternative suggestions have fallen and continue to fall on deaf ears.
I wish it was a newbie joke or an attempt to have me leave. At least then there would be some logic behind it. I'm in the role over 4 years so its not a newbie joke. And there is a fear of me leaving the section i'm in so its not an attempt to have me leave.
The "logic" behind it is so that when I move section or get promoted that my replacement will be able to read this document as issues arise and solve them instantly, without training...

It appears that all I can do is so it for one spreadsheet and hope that senior management see how ridiculous it is.

#### MARK858

##### MrExcel MVP
Try and work out roughly how many different formulas you use, divide it by 2 as I assume that you are one of the higher users then multiply that by the number of formula writers in your organisation.

Once you have that number write out the explanation for 10 of your formulas (time how long it takes to write the explanations and then divide it by 10).

Multiply the 2 resulting answers together, convert to hours and present that to the powers that be as your predicted man hours to carry out the task.

Then let them decide if they really want you to spend that amount of time on this task.