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Excel IF Cell is Empty

Using ISBLANK() to check whether or not a cell is empty

The ISBLANK() function is a pretty handy function in Excel. Now, you will be forgiven for asking how so? Especially as it only returns a TRUE of FALSE value. Well, the real power of ISBLANK() comes when you combine it with an IF function. Try the following:

First, open a blank spreadsheet then type in the following data.

ISBLANK() Exercise

Now click in cell B2 and enter the following formula:


Now Autofill the formula down to cell B5.

ISBLANK() Exercise complete

Note that ISBLANK() returns (or shows) FALSE, when the cell is not blank, and TRUE when the cell is blank.

Reversing the ISBLANK() using NOT()

The only problem with the ISBLANK() when using with the above example is that you really want the TRUE value returned when there is a course. This would seem to make more logical sense. So, to accomplish this you can use the NOT() function. So using the above example make the following adjustments:

Click in Cell B2 and make the following adjustment to the formula:


When you now drag down the formula note that the result is a reverse of the ISBLANK() formula. Check out the following:

ISBLANK() NOT() function

See how what once was TRUE and what once was false is now FALSE. Now we need to put this to better use. That is instead of the result just being TRUE and FALSE it would be far better for the result to be Yes or No. To accomplish that you'll have to have a look at the IF Function.