When passcode starts with “=“ it causes #ERROR message in Google Sheets

  • 21 March 2022
  • 1 reply

Hello all,

I need some help please. I have a simple Zap that, among other things, takes a passcode from an email and places it in a google sheets cell.

On rare occasions, the passcode starts with an equal sign “=”, which google sheets tries to interpret as a formula, and then spits out an error (#ERROR).


I found this entry in the help pages, which discusses this exact issue:


Information sent by the Zap appears in the spreadsheet as #ERROR


If you see #ERROR in a cell where a value was sent from Zapier, it means Google is interpreting the value as a formula. Phone numbers containing a leading "+", for example, can cause this. Google Sheets then tries to calculate it and returns an error, as it's not a valid formula.

This can be fixed by adding a single leading apostrophe character ' to the value being sent. This will force Google Sheets to treat the value as text.


However I am not sure how I can do this How do I “add a single leading apostrophe character to the value being sent? Do I use editor? Something else? Could someone kindly help me with the specific steps, please?




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1 reply

Userlevel 7
Badge +14

Hi @farid 

Good question.

Try adding a Formatter > Text > Replace step to your Zap.