Article updated on April 11, 2018

The picture above shows different values in column B and a formula in column C that tries to identifies the value in column B.

Formula in cell C3:

=IF(ISTEXT(B3),"Text","Not text")

The formula above checks if a cell contains a text value based on whether Excel correctly identified and formatted the cell as a text value or not.

This works often quite well, however, sometimes numbers are formatted as text.

This can happen if you import data from a database, copy and paste values from the web or a formula that returns numbers that Excel handles as a text string, among other things.

For example, cell B10 has a number formatted as a text value and the ISTEXT function incorrectly identifies the number as a text value.

The following formula will correctly identify numbers even if Excel identifies the number as a text value.

Formula in cell C3:

=IF(ISTEXT(B3)*NOT(ISNUMBER(B3*1)),"Text","Not text")

Explaining formula in cell C10

The formula in cell C10 is

=IF(ISTEXT(B10)*NOT(ISNUMBER(B10*1)),"Text","Not text")

B10*1 returns a number if B10 contains a number and an error for anything else.

13*1 = 13

ISNUMBER(B10*1) returns TRUE if the argument is a number and FALSE for all else.

ISNUMBER(B10*1) returns TRUE.

The NOT function returns TRUE if FALSE and FALSE if TRUE.



NOT(TRUE) and returns FALSE.

The ISTEXT function returns TRUE for all text values.

ISTEXT(B10) returns TRUE.

Multiplying the two functions is the same as AND logic. I could use the AND function, however, the * (asterisk) is smaller.



TRUE*FALSE and returns 0. 1*0 = 0

The IF function then returns the third argument.

IF(ISTEXT(B10)*NOT(ISNUMBER(B10*1)),"Text","Not text")


IF(0,"Text","Not text")

and returns "Not text" in cell C10.

Download Excel *.xlsx file

If cell contains any text.xlsx