How to Use ISBLANK in Excel to Test for Empty Cells

In Excel, it can be useful to test whether a cell is empty or not in order to perform certain calculations. One way to do this is by using the ISBLANK function, which tests whether a cell reference or formula returns a blank. In this post, we’ll look at two different scenarios where ISBLANK can be useful.

Scenario 1: Testing for Blank Cells in a Status Column

Let’s say we have an issues list for different properties, with columns for the date the issue was recorded, the property code, the issue type, and the completion date. We need to fill in the status column, where the status is “closed” if there is a completion date, and “open” if there is no completion date.

To test whether a cell is blank, we can use the ISBLANK function within an IF statement. If the cell is blank, the status should be “open”, and if it is not blank, it should be “closed”. We can use the logical test of the ISBLANK function as the condition for the IF statement, with “open” as the value if true, and “closed” as the value if false.

Alternatively, we could also test whether the cell contains an empty text string (two quotation marks together) instead of using ISBLANK.

Scenario 2: Avoiding Div/0 Errors in Calculations

In this scenario, we have a list of employees and the number of calls achieved and dropped by each employee on a particular day. We want to calculate the percentage of calls dropped. However, if there are no calls dropped, we will get a Div/0 error when we try to divide the number of dropped calls by the total number of calls.

To avoid this error, we can use another IF statement with ISBLANK. We can test whether the denominator (total number of calls) is blank. If it is, we can return an empty text string. Otherwise, we can perform the calculation.

Alternatively, we can use the IFERROR function to mask the Div/0 error. We can specify the formula as the first argument and the value to return if there is an error as the second argument.

In conclusion, using the ISBLANK function in Excel can help us test for empty cells and avoid errors in calculations. By combining ISBLANK with IF statements or IFERROR, we can perform calculations more efficiently and accurately.