Information functions are used to reveal information about data and can help quickly identify issues like errors, blank cells, and improperly formatted data.
Information functions are used to reveal information about data, returning boolean values (TRUE or FALSE) depending on whether or not the referenced data meets a specific criteria.
Information functions can reveal underlying issues with data like numerical cells that are actually formatted as text (ISNUMBER and ISTEXT), cells that contain errors (ISERROR and ISNA), cells that are blank (ISBLANK), and more, making them especially useful in cleaning large datasets or troubleshooting formula output errors.
How to Use Information Functions
In the examples below, we’ll take a look at some commonly used information functions. For documentation on every information function supported by Spreadsheet.com, reference our section on Information functions.
When using functions in your workbook, you can input and edit formulas either directly in the cell, or from the formula bar between the worksheet toolbar and the spreadsheet grid. Learn more in our article on Creating and Editing Formulas.
How to Identify Blank Cells (ISBLANK)
The ISBLANK function looks at a cell and returns TRUE if the cell is blank, and FALSE if the cell is not blank.
In the example above, our ISBLANK functions in Column B are looking at the adjacent cells in Column A and determining whether or not they are blank. The ISBLANK functions don’t care what type of values are in the referenced cell and any cell value – even an error, like in Cell A5 – will return a TRUE value.
How to Identify Text (ISTEXT) and Numbers (ISNUMBER)
The ISTEXT function looks at a cell and returns TRUE if the cell contains text, and FALSE if it does not.
Note that in the example above, ISTEXT does not consider the date in Cell A3 to be text even though it has textual elements (slashes), and also does not consider Cell A5 as text because it is a boolean value.
Similarly, the ISNUMBER function looks at a cell and returns TRUE if the cell only contains a number, and FALSE if it does not.
Note that in the example above, ISNUMBER does consider the date in Cell A3 to be a number but does not consider Cell A2 to be a number despite it having a numerical element. Like ISTEXT, ISNUMBER also does not classify the boolean value in Cell A5 as a number.
How to Identify Errors (ISERROR)
The ISERROR function looks at a cell and returns TRUE if the cell contains an error, and FALSE if it does not.
ISERROR treats all errors equally and will return a TRUE value if any type of error is detected in the referenced cell.
More Information Functions
The functions shown above are just some of the many information functions supported by Spreadsheet.com. Take a look at our full suite of articles on information functions to learn more.
If you encounter errors in your workbook that are the result of formula outputs, you may need to troubleshoot and readjust your formulas. Or, read on to learn more about other types of functions supported by Spreadsheet.com, including lookup functions, logical functions, statistical functions, and more.