Null is a type of error which occurs in excel when the two or more cell references provided in a formulas are incorrect or the position they have been placed is incorrect, if we use space in formulas between two cell references we will encounter null error, there are two reasons to encounter this error one is if we used incorrect range reference and another when we use the intersect operator which is the space character.
Null in Excel
NULL is nothing but nothing or blank in excel. Usually, when we are working in excel we encounter many NULL or Blank cells. We can use the formula and find out whether the particular cell is blank (NULL) or not.
We have several ways of finding the NULL cells in excel. In today’s article, we will take a tour of dealing with NULL values in excel.
How do you find which cell is actually blank or null? Yes, of course, we just need to look at the particular cell and make our decision. Let’s discover many methods of finding the null cells in excel.
ISBLANK Function to Find NULL Value in Excel
In excel we have a built-in function called ISBLANK function which can find the blank cells in the worksheet. Let’s look at the syntax of the ISBLANK function.
The syntax is simple and straight forward. Value is nothing but the cell reference we are testing whether it is blank or not.
Since ISBLANK is a logical excel function it will either return TRUE or FALSE as the result. If the cell is NULL then it will return TRUE or else it will return FALSE.
Note: ISBLANK will treat the one single space as one character and if the cell has only space value then it will recognize as a non-blank or non-null cell.
#1 – How to Find NULL Cells in Excel?
Assume you have below values in the excel file and you want to test all the null cells in the range.
Let’s open ISBLANK formula in cell B2 cell.
Select the cell A2 as the argument. Since there is only one argument close the bracket
We got the result as given below:
Drag-drop the formula to other remaining cells.
We got the results but look at the cell B7, even though there is no value in the cell A7 still formula returned the result as a False i.e. non-null cell.
Let’s apply the LEN function in excel to find the no. of characters in the cell.
It counts the no. of characters and gives the result.
LEN function returned the no., of character in the A7 cell as 1. So, there should be a character in it.
Let’s edit the cell now. So, we found the space character here, let’s remove the space character to make the formula to show accurate results.
I have removed the space character and ISBLANK formula returned the result as TRUE and even LEN function says there are zero characters in the cell A7.
#2 – Shortcut Way of Finding NULL Cells in Excel
We have seen the traditional formula way to find the null cells. Without using the ISBLANK function we can find the null cells.
Let’s open the formula with an equal sign (=).
After the equal sing selects the cell A2 as the reference.
Now open one more equal sign after the cell reference.
Now mention open double-quotes and close double-quotes. (“”)
The signs double quotes (“”) says is the selected cell is NULL or not. If the selected cell is NULL then we will get TRUE or else we will get FALSE.
Drag the Formula to the remaining cells.
We can see that in cell B7, we got the result as “True”. It means it is a null cell.
#3 – How to Fill Our Own Values to NULL Cells in Excel?
We have seen how to find the NULL cells in the excel sheet. In our formula, we could only get TRUE or FALSE as a result. But we can also get our own values for the NULL cells.
Consider the below data for an example.
Step 1: Open the IF condition first.
Step 2: Here we need to do a logical test i.e. we need to test whether the cell is NULL or not. So apply A2=””.
Step 3: If the logical test is TRUE (TRUE means cell is NULL) we need the result as “No Values Found”.
Step 4: If the logical test is FALSE (FALSE means cell contains values) then we need the same cell value.
We got the result as the same cell value.
Step 5: Drag the formula to remaining cells.
So we have got our own value of No Values Found for all the NULL cells.
Things to Remember
- Even space will be considered as character and treats as a non-empty cell.
- Instead of ISBLANK, we can also use double quotes (“ ”) to test the NULL cells.
- If the cell seems blank and formula shows it as a non-null cell then you need to test the number of characters by using the LEN function.
This has been a guide to Null in Excel. Here we discuss the top methods to Find Null Values in Excel using ISBLANK and Shortcuts to replace those null cells along with practical examples and a downloadable template. You may learn more about excel from the following articles –