New ISFORMULA Function in Excel 2013

Last week, we took a look at the new FORMULATEXT function in Excel 2013. Another one of the new features in Excel 2013 is the ISFORMULA function. Finally, there is a way to identify cells that contain a formula, without creating a User Defined Function to do the job.

isformula01

The TYPE function was originally designed to show what a cell contained, such as text or a formula. It returns a number to show the type for a cell’s contents, or a formula’s result. Here’s the list of results, and the data types:

type01b

In a few versions of Excel, the Help files incorrectly reported that a formula would return 8 with the TYPE function, but unfortunately, that’s not the case.

Check for a Formula

With the new ISFORMULA function, you can test a cell, to see if it contains a formula. In the screenshot below, the following formula is entered in cell B4, and copied across to cell D4:

=ISFORMULA(B2)

isformula02

The result in cells B4 and C4 is FALSE, because cells B2 and C2 have numbers typed in them. The result in D4 is TRUE, because cell D2 contains a formula.

Highlight Cells With Formulas

You can use the ISFORMULA function with conditional formatting, to highlight cells that contain formulas. In the screen shot below, cells in column C have a formula, and they are shaded grey.

isformula08

For the details on how to apply this type of conditional formatting, and for more information on the ISFORMULA function, please visit my Contextures website: Excel ISFORMULA FUNCTION

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2 Responses

  1. Katrina Finney says:

    So what are the different types of cell contents in a whole class discussion

  1. March 4, 2013

    […] A new version of Microsoft Excel, the 800 pound gorilla of the spreadsheet world, was actually released back in January as part of Office 2013 but I managed to miss it somehow.  An overview of what’s new in Excel 2013 is available in a blog post from Microsoft, along with a list of new functions in Excel 2013 and a note warning of the possibility of calculation differences between ‘normal’ PCs and those running Windows RT.  More in-depth articles include My first Excel 2013 chart, Excel 2013 in depth, Introduction to PowerPivot in Excel 2013 and the new ISFORUMULA Function in 2013. […]

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