Thursday, October 27, 2011

Shooting Blanks!

Well, maybe this edition of this blog should be entitled, “Shooting Down Blanks!  The truth is that it is Not Always Easy to know whether a cell or cells in Excel are Truly Blank!

This is due to the fact there are ways of Hiding Data through the use of identically-colored fonts, empty-string results of a formula, or masking the data with the use of Custom Formatting (three semicolons: ;;; ).  If you don’t know if a cell is Truly Blank, it can cause Mayhem with your calculations.

To detect this Invisible Data, there are at least a couple of techniques.  Assuming your cell in question is A1, you can:

1.      Simply insert this Function in an adjacent cell:  =ISBLANK(A1) 

a.       If the cell is Blank, it will return True; if it is Not Blank, it will return False

2.      Also use an IF Statement as follows:  =IF(A1<>"","Not Blank", "Blank")

a.       This IF Statement obviously returns Blank or Not Blank

By determining if your cells are Truly Blank, you can Avoid Problems on your worksheets, and I don’t know about you, but I think Avoiding Problems, Rocks!

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