Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Excel in Microsoft 365. If you are using an earlier version (Excel 2003 or earlier), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for earlier versions of Excel, click here: Checking for Text.

Checking for Text

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated January 18, 2020)

Cells in a worksheet can contain either numeric values, text values, or error values. (Some people will mention dates and times as another type of value, but these are nothing but special types of numeric values, as are Boolean values such as True and False.) In some instances, you may need to know whether a particular cell contains a text value or not.

You can use the ISTEXT function to make this determination. For instance, if you need to know if cell B7 contains a text value, you would use the following formula:

=ISTEXT(B7)

The function returns either True or False, depending on the type of value in cell B7. ISTEXT takes a single value, normally a cell reference of some kind. This should be a reference to a single cell; if you use a reference to a range, then the function always returns a False value.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (10814) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Excel in Microsoft 365. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Excel here: Checking for Text.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

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