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ISTEXT Excel

Updated on December 28, 2023
Edited byNannila Jai Ratna
Reviewed byDheeraj Vaidya, CFA, FRM

What Is ISTEXT Function In Excel?

The ISTEXT function in Excel is a logical function that allows users to determine whether a specific cell contains text. It is particularly useful in scenarios where we must differentiate between numerical values and textual data. When applied to a cell, the ISTEXT function returns TRUE if the cell contains text, including numbers formatted as text. Conversely, it returns FALSE if the cell contains any other data type, such as numbers or blank cells.

For instance, the image below illustrates the numeric value in cell A2 and the alphabetical value in cell A3. To detect the output, we will utilize the ISTEXT function.

ISTEXT Excel Function Intro.jpg

To apply the ISTEXT formula, enter =ISTEXT(A2) in cell B2. The resulting value is FALSE for the numeric value 111 and TRUE for the alphabetic value aaa.

ISTEXT Excel Function Intro - Output.jpg

Key Takeaways

  • ISTEXT function is valuable in MS Excel 2000 and all subsequent versions as it serves the purpose of determining whether a given value is text-based.
  • It is important to note that this function will consistently return FALSE, even when encountering formula errors such as #VALUE!, #NULL!, and others.
  • ISTEXT belongs to the IS family of functions, which offers a range of tools for obtaining information about specific values.
  • Utilizing an IS function can effectively gather insights about a value before proceeding with any calculations or other actions.
  • This allows for a more informed and efficient approach to data analysis and manipulation within Excel.

ISTEXT() Excel Formula

The syntax of the ISTEXT function in Excel is shown in the following image.

ISTEXT Excel Function - Formula
  • Value = This is the targeted cell that we want to test. This is the mandatory argument.

How To Use ISTEXT Excel Function?

#1 – Accessing the Excel Ribbon

  1. Select the empty cell to display the desired result.
  2. Proceed to the Formulas tab on the Excel ribbon.
  3. From the drop-down menu, kindly opt for the More Functions option.
  4. Another drop-down menu will gracefully appear, and it is here that you should select Information.
  5. Once again, a drop-down menu will elegantly present itself, and this time, kindly choose ISTEXT.
  6. The window Function Arguments, will appear on our screen.
  7. In the Value field, kindly enter the appropriate value for the number of arguments.
  8. Finally, with a sense of accomplishment, click the OK button to proceed.

#2 – Enter the worksheet manually.

Select an empty cell for the output.

  1. Type =ISTEXT( in the selected cell. Alternatively, type =I and double-click the ISTEXT function from the list of suggestions Excel shows.
  2. Enter the arguments as cell references or direct values.
  3. Close the parenthesis and press the Enter key.

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Examples

Example #1

The following example illustrates the values in the table and demonstrates how to use the ISTEXT function with Cell Reference in Excel to search for numeric values.

Within the table, the data is organized as follows:

  • Column A contains a mixture of values.

To identify the cells containing numeric values using the ISTEXT function in Excel, follow these steps:

Step 1: Select the column where the formula will be entered and the result will be calculated. In this case, we will use column B.

Example 1 - Step 1

Step 2: Enter the ISTEXT formula in cell B2. The complete formula to be entered is =ISTEXT(A2), with the value argument referencing cell A2.

Example 1 - Step 2

Step 3: The calculated result in cell A2 is FALSE, as depicted in the image below.

ISTEXT Excel Function - Example 1 - Step 3.jpg

Step 4: Press Enter and drag the cursor to cell B6. Cells B2, B3 and B5 will return TRUE as a result, indicating that cells A2, A3 and A5 contain text values. Conversely, cells B4 and B6 will return FALSE as a result, indicating that cells A4 and A6 do not contain text values.

ISTEXT Excel Function - Example 1 - Step 4.jpg

Example #2

The following example serves to illustrate the values presented in the table. It demonstrates the utilization of the ISTEXT function in Excel and Cell Reference to search for numeric values effectively.

Within the table,

  • Column A encompasses a mixture of various values.

To identify the cells containing numeric values using the ISTEXT function in Excel, please adhere to the subsequent steps:

Step 1: Select the column where we will enter the formula and calculate the result. In this particular case, we will utilize column B.

ISTEXT Excel Function - Example 2

Step 2: Proceed to enter the ISTEXT formula in cell B2. The complete formula to be entered is =ISTEXT(A2), with the value argument referencing cell A2.

ISTEXT Excel Function - Example 2 - Step 2

Step 3: The calculated result in cell A2 will be True, as depicted in the image below.

Step 4: Press Enter and proceed to drag the cursor to cell B6. As a result, cells B2 and B5 will return TRUE, indicating that cells A2 and A5 contain text values. Conversely, cells B3, B4 and B6 will return FALSE, indicating that cells A3, A4 and A6 do not contain text values.

ISTEXT Excel Function - Example 2 - Step 4

Example #3

The following example illustrates the values in the table, and we will utilize the ISTEXT function with Conditional Formatting in Excel to locate the numeric value cells.

In the table,

Table A1:A7 contains the values.

To identify the numeric value cells using the ISTEXT function in Excel, follow these steps:

Step 1: Select the table array.

Step 2: Navigate to the Home tab.

Step 3: Choose the Conditional Formatting option from the Style group.

Step 4: Select the New Rule… option from the drop-down list.

Example 3 - Step 4

Step 5: A window called New Formatting Rule will appear.

Step 6: Select the Use a formula to determine which cells to format option.

Step 7: Enter the formula =ISTEXT(A2:A7) in the Format values where this formula is true: box to search for the numeric value cells.

Step 8: Click the Format… button to specify the color for the blank cells.

ISTEXT Excel Function - Example 3 - Step 8

Step 9: The Format Cells window will open.

Step 10: In the Fill menu option, choose the Background color.

Step 11: Click OK.

ISTEXT Excel Function - Example 3 - Step 11

Step 12: The Format Cells window will close.

Step 13: Click OK in the New Formatting Rule window.

Example 3 - Step 13

Step 14: The numeric value cells will be highlighted in Peach, as shown in the image below.

Example 3 - Step 14

Important Things To Note

  • Utilizing the ISTEXT function, one can ensure the accuracy and integrity of their spreadsheets by flagging any inconsistencies or errors related to textual content within cells.
  • The ISTEXT function checks whether a value is a text or not. The output of ISTEXT is also either “true” or “false.”

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Explain the use of ISTEXT function with an example?

The image below illustrates text and numerical values. To determine the output, we will make use of the ISTEXT function.
FAQ 1
Now, enter the complete formula, =ISTEXT(A2), in cell B2.
We can see the formula returns TRUE for the text value and FALSE for the numeric value.

FAQ 1 - Output

2. What are the arguments or parameters of the ISTEXT function?

The ISTEXT function takes one argument, the value being evaluated, and returns either TRUE if the cell does contain text or FALSE if it does not. The key parameter here is the value being analyzed by the ISTEXT function, as it determines the outcome of the formula. To be considered as text, the value must consist of letters, numbers, punctuation marks, spaces and other characters typically used in written language. If there are any non-text elements like formulas or error values within the cell, ISTEXT will return FALSE.

3. Are there any limitations while using the ISTEXT function in Excel?

• Firstly, the function only determines if a cell contains text and does not differentiate between text types such as alphabets or numbers. It returns TRUE or FALSE based on whether the cell contains any text. Therefore, it may not provide accurate results in cases where alphanumeric characters are present in a cell.
• Additionally, the formula does not account for leading or trailing spaces within cells. This means that if there are any extra spaces before or after the text within a cell, ISTEXT may still return TRUE. To avoid this issue, it is advisable to use the TRIM function alongside ISTEXT to remove leading and trailing spaces.

Download Template

This article must help understand ISTEXT Excel Function formulas and examples. We can download the template here to use it instantly.

This has been a guide to ISTEXT Excel Function. Here we learn how to use ISTEXT function to determine whether a value is text or not, with examples & downloadable excel template. You can learn more from the following articles –

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