Definition and Syntax
• You may have thought Excel’s refusal to allow a space in a formula or a name is a pesky limitation in our digital world. Not quite. A space is actually an operator in Excel, like the plus sign.
• It’s called the intersect operator, and it works like this: Find the value when the item in the row on one side of the space crosses the item in the column on the other side of the space.
How to Use It
• Suppose you have a table of three columns: labels, makeready and run. Then you make rows for all the press configurations or binding pockets in your price list. If you define the makeready column with the name MR and define each of the rows as, say, sig32, sig16, pkt3, pkt4, etc., you can now write the formula =MR pkt12, with that wonderful space in there. The result will be the price of the makeready for 12 pockets. Define the run column, and you can get that result as well. To calculate a price, you’d write: =run sig32*quantity*pressrun.
When to Use It
• Although I used a makeready and run table as an example, you probably won’t want to use intersect for an entire price list, for that would require naming every one of the price lines. I use the operator for small arrays where it’s worth the time to name every row, like a table of paper hundredweight prices set up by basis weight and grade. Then I can write =basis38 grade5 to get a hundredweight price.