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Determine if a Cell is Not Blank in Excel

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

Syntax

=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.  

Syntax

=ISBLANK(value)

  • 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:

=IF(C3<>"","Not blank","Blank")

  • 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:

=IF(C4<>"","Not blank","Blank")

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:

=IF(ISBLANK(C5),"Blank","Not Blank")

  • 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

Note

We can customize the action that the IF function will return depending on the logical test results.

Example

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:  =IF(C3<>"","Completed","In Progress")

In cell D4:  =IF(C4<>"","Completed","In Progress")

In cell D5:  =IF(ISBLANK(C5),"In Progress","Completed")

In cell D6:  =IF(ISBLANK(C6),"In Progress","Completed")

Figure 6.  Final result: Using IF and ISBLANK to determine the status of a project

Most of the time, the problem you will need to solve will be more complex than a simple application of a formula or function. If you want to save hours of research and frustration, try our live Excelchat service! Our Excel Experts are available 24/7 to answer any Excel question you may have. We guarantee a connection within 30 seconds and a customized solution within 20 minutes.

Are you still looking for help with the IF function? View our comprehensive round-up of IF function tutorials here.

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Another blog reader asked this question today on Excelchat:
Solution examples
I have a cell that has a working vlook formula in it. When it looks up source data it returns blank. That is fine. I now want to use an IF formula to say if that cell is blank leave the other cell blank and if not then show value in different cell. The issue I have is that when the IF formula looks up the cell it reports back FALSE due to the vlook up formula being in the cell. I want the IF formula to show nothing instead of FALSE. Can you help?
Solved by Z. E. in 60 mins
Could you help me by explaining the IF function?
Solved by G. L. in 24 mins
I have a question about Conditional Formatting. =IF('Sheet1'!A1="X",IF('Sheet1'!B1="Y", TRUE, FALSE),FALSE) the set the cell background to red. I would like to make it so that if Sheet1'!B1="Z" I set the back to blue. How can I achieve this.
Solved by B. F. in 39 mins
I need to find out if the 2018 yearly sales goals were met if the yearly sales were $25,000 or more using an IF logical function and to set the formula to return a value of YES if met, and NO if not
Solved by A. A. in 18 mins
I filtered data in column A (it is labeled ID #) of a data set. On my next worksheet, column A is also the ID #, but it is a different data set. I want to filter the ID #'s the same for the two sheets, but how do I do that being that I am working with two different sets of data?
Solved by V. H. in 22 mins

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