Note: per m.a.riosv’s comment below here’s a sample file in Dropbox:

link. There’s a download button at the top of the right-hand sidebar. (I tried the forum file uploader but it didn’t work for me.)

I have checkboxes which are linked to cells named *option1*, *option2*, *option3*. `Reference value (on)`

for all of them is set to `1`

.

If I tick the checkboxes, I can do arithmetic with the contents of the named cells, e.g. : `=option1+10`

gives result `11`

.

But if I use the linked cells in a VLOOKUP formula - `=VLOOKUP(option1,lookup,2)`

- I get #N/A.

If I change the formula to `=VLOOKUP(VALUE(option1),lookup,2)`

, it works perfectly.

This gave me fits till I found the solution, but I still don’t understand it. If the linked cell stores values as text, why can I do arithmetic with them?

Can anyone explain? Thanks!