Thursday, August 25, 2016

How Can You Fix - Bug in fact function Excel?

Bug in fact function Excel

Math wise : N!/N - (N-1)! should equal 0.
If I use excel : it is zero except for the following numbers
Using Formula :   =(fact(a3)/a3)-fact(a3-1)

49    1,1418E+46
91    1,3221E+123
111    1,6196E+163
120    6,6392E+181
134    2,1041E+211
144    5,5891E+232
165    -5,6725E+278
I tested it in Excel 2000 / 2003 / 2007 and they all go wrong
If I use Opensource like Open Office they do not have this problem.
If I calculate the faculty in excel by plain old multiplying and do the math it also always gives me 0 as result.
I googled and found no other references to this issue.
Any Idea why this should happen ?

Anwsers to the Problem Bug in fact function Excel

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And the plot thickens: Type 49 in A3 and your formula in B3.
Use Formula| Formula Auditing | Evaluate Formula as you expand the formula you get two identical numbers 1.24139155925361E+61but the final step gives the incorrect value.
Computing each term in separate cells (C3 = fact(A3)/a3 and D3 =fact(a3-1)) and E3 = C3=D3 gives TRUE so the problem is not a round-off error.
If I change your formula to =(fact(a3)/a3) = fact(a3-1), I get TRUE even with 49, 111, etc.
If you select B3 and then highlight the first half of the formula then press F9 and repeat the process with the second term you get =1.24139155925361E+61-1.24139155925361E+61 which displays as zero (as expected)
So we do have a wonderful mystery for the Excel Development team!

Bernard Liengme, Nova Scotia, Canada

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  • Click on the Start button on the Taskbar.
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Note: There is the option on the restore utility to select "Choose a different restore point". Unless you have a specific reason to select a different date and time than what Windows recommends, just select the recommended option stated in the steps above. If you choose to select another one, follow these steps:

Click on that desired date and time, and Windows 7 will perform a scan for any affected programs in that restore point.

Once completed, click Next and follow the instructions given.

Once you have selected the restore point, your system will start the restoring process, after which you will have to restart the system.

Another Safe way to Fix the Problem: Bug in fact function Excel:

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