Sunday, November 7, 2010

ISBLANK is your friend

To avoid those pesky (and meaningless) error messages like #VALUE!, I would always use the LEN function to figure out if there was something in a cell before I applied a formula to it.

It looked like this:

=IF(LEN(A1)>0,"Something is there","Nothing is there")

One day - as is the case sometimes with Excel - this approach wouldn't work for me in a particular worksheet. No matter how I tried, cells without values were being reported as having them!

Then I stumbled on ISBLANK. A simple function that does what I always wanted - to check whether something is in a cell. In retrospect, it seems somewhat obtuse to determine if something exists by checking how long it is.

=IF(ISBLANK(A1),"Nothing is there","Something is there")

How simple is that?

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