Microsoft Office Tutorials and References

In Depth Information

**Understanding information functions**

Understanding information functions

The information functions can be considered the internal monitoring system in Excel.

Although they perform no specific calculations, you can use them to find out about

elements of the Excel interface and then use that information elsewhere. We discuss the

most useful of these functions in the following sections. You can find these functions by

clicking the More Functions button on the Formulas tab on the ribbon and then clicking

Information.

Using selected information functions

With information functions, you can gather information about the contents of cells, their

formatting, and the computing environment and also perform conditional tests for the

presence of specific types of values.

The TYPE and ERROR.TYPE functions

The TYPE function determines whether a cell contains text, a number, a logical value, an

array, or an error value. The result is a code for the type of entry in the referenced cell:
1
for

a number (or a blank cell),
2
for text,
4
for a logical value (TRUE or FALSE),
16
for an error

value, and
64
for an array. For example, if cell A1 contains the number
100
, the formula

=TYPE(A1) returns
1
. If A1 contains the text Microsoft Excel, the formula returns
2
.

Like the TYPE function, the ERROR.TYPE function detects the contents of a cell, except it

detects different types of error values. The result is a code for the type of error value in the

referenced cell:
1
for #NULL!,
2
for #DIV/0!,
3
for #VALUE!,
4
for #REF!,
5
for #NAME!,
6

for #NUM!, and
7
for #N/A. Any other value in the referenced cell returns the error value

#N/A. For example, if cell A1 contains a formula that displays the error value #NAME!, the

formula =ERROR.TYPE(A1) returns
5
. If A1 contains the text Microsoft Excel, the formula

returns #N/A.

The COUNTBLANK function

The COUNTBLANK function counts the number of empty cells in the specified range,

which is its only argument. This function is tricky because formulas that evaluate to null

text strings, such as =" ", or to zero might seem empty, but they aren’t and therefore aren’t

counted.

Using the IS information functions

You can use the ISBLANK, ISERR, ISERROR, ISEVEN, ISFORMULA, ISLOGICAL, ISNA,

ISNONTEXT, ISNUMBER, ISODD, ISREF, and ISTEXT functions to determine whether a referenced

cell or range contains the corresponding type of value.