We can determine if a cell is not blank in Excel by either using the IF function or by using the IF and ISBLANK function combined. This tutorial will assist all levels of Excel users in both methods to identify non-blank cells
Figure 1. Final result: Determine if a cell is not blank in Excel
IF Function in Excel
IF function evaluates a given logical test and returns a TRUE or a FALSE
=IF(logical_test, [value_if_true], [value_if_false])
- The arguments “value_if_true” and “value_if_false” are optional. If left blank, the function will return TRUE if the logical test is met, and FALSE if otherwise.
ISBLANK Function in Excel
ISBLANK function is more straightforward. It tests whether a value or a cell is blank or not.
- The function returns TRUE if the value is blank; FALSE if otherwise
Setting up the Data
Below is a list of Projects and a column for Date Completed. We want to know if column C for the “Date Completed” is blank or not.
Figure 2. Sample data to determine if a cell is not blank
Determine If a Cell is Not Blank
Using the IF function
In cell D3, enter the formula:
- The symbol <> in Excel means “not equal to”
- “” in Excel means empty string, or blank
- C3<>”” means C3 is not equal to blank, or C3 is not blank
This formula returns “Not blank” because cell C3 is not blank. It has the value “July 26, 2018”.
Figure 3. Entering the IF formula to determine if a cell is not blank
In cell D4, enter the formula:
The result is “Blank” because cell D4 is empty.
Figure 4. Output: Using IF to determine if a cell is not blank
Using the IF and ISBLANK function
In cell D5, enter the formula:
- ISBLANK evaluates whether cell C5 is blank or not
- If the ISBLANK function returns TRUE, the formula will return “Blank”; otherwise, it returns “Not Blank”
- The result is “Blank” because C5 is empty
Figure 5. Final result: Using IF and ISBLANK to determine if a cell is not blank
We can customize the action that the IF function will return depending on the logical test results.
We want to return the status “Completed” if the cell in column C is not blank, and “In Progress” if otherwise.
Enter the following formula:
In cell D3:
In cell D4:
In cell D5:
In cell D6:
Figure 6. Final result: Using IF and ISBLANK to determine the status of a project
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