Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. If you are using a later version (Excel 2007 or later), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for later versions of Excel, click here: Checking for a Value in a Cell.

# Checking for a Value in a Cell

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated November 30, 2015)

If you need to base a calculation on whether a cell has a number in it or not, you can use the ISNUMBER worksheet function. This function returns True if the target cell contains a numeric value or False if it contains anything else. For instance, if you want to do a calculation based on whether cell A3 contains a number, you could use the following:

```=IF(ISNUMBER(A3),(A3*12)/52,"Enter number in cell A3")
```

This example results in the cell containing the result of (A3 * 12) / 52, but only if A3 contains a number. If it does not (for instance, it is blank or contains text), then the result contains the text "Enter number in cell A3."

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (2113) applies to Microsoft Excel 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. You can find a version of this tip for the ribbon interface of Excel (Excel 2007 and later) here: Checking for a Value in a Cell.

##### Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He  is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

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What is 7 + 8?

2012-06-30 07:48:46

Siddhartha

Hello Alen,

Further to my previous comment about the IF function working just as well as the ISNUMBER function.

I asked you if you could suggest any way in which I could stop the line chart from not nosediving to zero for a date in the future, I have indeed got an answer.
It certainly works:

Jon Peltier wrote on 22nd Jan 2011:

http://www.techrepublic.com/forum/questions/101-340530/excel-formula-to-not-graph-0s

The response was as follows:

Excel formula that won't graph zeros.
Change the 0 in the formula that is returned if there is no value to NA(). This puts #N/A into the cell. Line and XY charts in Excel do not plot a point if its X or Y value is #N/A.

If you change the 0 to "" to make it look like a blank, Excel considers this a piece of text, and still plots it as a zero.

I replaced the entire string argument "" with #N/A and it works brilliantly.
OK it shows #N/A for future values it does not know yet from source data, but once the source data is populated and the blue handlebar for the range is dragged well into the future, it just incorporates the populated value as a point on the line chart.

Thank you Jon Peltier of Techrepublic.com forum.

Regards to you both.
Siddhartha

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