# How to use the ISTEXT function

**What is the ISTEXT function?**

The ISTEXT function returns Boolean value TRUE if value is text. Use the ISTEXT function in a formula to identify text values for example in an IF function.

**Table of contents**

## 1. Introduction

**What is text in Excel?**

Excel tries to identify inserted values automatically, text values are left-aligned. Boolean values and error values are centered in cells, and numerical values are right-aligned. You can change the alignment if you like.

Cells containing text values evaluates to TRUE by the ISTEXT function. The ISNTEXT function lets you check a value programmatically in a formula instead of visually identify values by their position in a cell.

**What is a formula?**

A formula in Excel is an expression that calculates a value based on the values in other cells. Formulas must start with an equals sign "=" and can contain cell references, math operators, functions, constants, arrays, etc. They are used to perform calculations in Excel.

**What is a Boolean value?**

A Boolean value in Excel is a value that can only be TRUE or FALSE. It represents binary logic and is the result of a logical expression using logical operators or a result of a few Excel functions that I'll discuss below.

Mastering Boolean logic and logical expressions is key to manipulating data and controlling workflow in Excel.

**Other IS functions**

Excel Function | Description |
---|---|

ISBLANK(value) | Returns TRUE if the value is empty, FALSE otherwise |

ISERR(value) | Returns TRUE if the value is any error value except #N/A, FALSE otherwise |

ISERROR(value) | Returns TRUE if the value is any error value, FALSE otherwise |

ISEVEN(value) | Returns TRUE if the value is an even number, FALSE for odd numbers |

ISFORMULA(reference) | Returns TRUE if the cell contains a formula, FALSE otherwise |

ISLOGICAL(value) | Returns TRUE if the value is a logical value (TRUE/FALSE), FALSE otherwise |

ISNA(value) | Returns TRUE if the value is the #N/A error, FALSE otherwise |

ISNONTEXT(value) | Returns TRUE if the value is not text, FALSE if it is text |

ISNUMBER(value) | Returns TRUE if the value is a number, FALSE otherwise |

ISODD(value) | Returns TRUE if the value is an odd number, FALSE for even numbers |

## 2. Syntax

ISTEXT(*value*)

value |
Required. The value you want to check for text. |

## 3. Example

The image above shows cells B3:B9 populated with different data types and error values. Cells C3:C9 contains the ISTEXT function ouput based on the adjacent value on the same row in column B.

The first example displayed in cell B3 which contains text value "A".

Formula in cell C3:

The formula in cell C3 returns TRUE meaning the value in cell B3 is a text value.

The second example shown in cell B4 contains numeric value 1.

Formula in cell C4:

The formula in cell C3 returns FALSE meaning the value in cell B4 is not a text value. It is a numerical value.

The third example presented in cell B5 contains error value #DIV/0! which occurs when a formula tries to divide a number with 0 (zero) which is impossible.

Formula in cell C5:

The formula in cell C5 returns FALSE meaning the value in cell B5 is not a text value. It is an error value.

The fourth example displayed in cell B6 contains error value #VALUE! meaning a value is not available.

Formula in cell C6:

The formula in cell C6 returns FALSE meaning the value in cell B6 is not a text value. It is an error value.

The fifth example displayed in cell B7 contains error value #NAME?! meaning wrong data type.

Formula in cell C7:

The formula in cell C7 returns FALSE meaning the value in cell B7 is not a text value. It is an error value.

The sixth example shown in cell B8 contains error value #N/A meaning misspelled function name.

Formula in cell C8:

The formula in cell C8 returns FALSE meaning the value in cell B8 is not a text value. It is an error value.

The seventh example shown in cell B9 contains error value #REF! meaning invalid cell reference.

Formula in cell C9:

The formula in cell C9 returns FALSE meaning the value in cell B9 is not a text value. It is an error value.

Note! The ISTEXT function is very useful to identify error values in arrays. Most Excel functions return the error value, however, this function returns FALSE if it encounters an error.

**What is an error value?**

An error value is returned when something is wrong, it may be a formula that contains an error, a function with missing parameters or a misspelled function etc.

Here are a few common errors in Excel:

**#NULL error**- This error occurs most often if you by mistake use a space character in a formula where it shouldn't be. Excel interprets a space character as an intersection operator. If the ranges don't intersect an #NULL error is returned. The #NULL! error occurs when a formula attempts to calculate the intersection of two ranges that do not actually intersect. This can happen when the wrong range operator is used in the formula, or when the intersection operator (represented by a space character) is used between two ranges that do not overlap. To fix this error double check that the ranges referenced in the formula that use the intersection operator actually have cells in common.**#SPILL error**- The #SPILL! error occurs only in version Excel 365 and is caused by a dynamic array being to large, meaning there are cells below and/or to the right that are not empty. This prevents the dynamic array formula expanding into new empty cells.**#DIV/0 error**- This error happens if you try to divide a number by 0 (zero) or a value that equates to zero which is not possible mathematically. Use the "Evaluate formula" tool to pinpoint the exact location in the formula where this error occurs. The "Evaluate formula" tool is located on the "Formulas" tab on the ribbon. Select the cell containing the #DIV/0 error and then press with left mouse button on the "Evaluate formula button".**#VALUE error**- The #VALUE error occurs when a formula has a value that is of the wrong data type. Such as text where a number is expected or when dates are evaluated as text.**#REF error**- The #REF error happens when a cell reference is invalid. This can happen if a cell is deleted that is referenced by a formula.**#NAME error**- The #NAME error happens if you misspelled a function or a named range.**#NUM error**- The #NUM error shows up when you try to use invalid numeric values in formulas, like square root of a negative number.**#N/A error**- The #N/A error happens when a value is not available for a formula or found in a given cell range, for example in the VLOOKUP or MATCH functions.**#GETTING_DATA error**- The #GETTING_DATA error shows while external sources are loading, this can indicate a delay in fetching the data or that the external source is unavailable right now.

## 4. Filter text values

This example demonstrates how to filter text values from a cell range excluding numbers, errors, and Boolean values.

Excel 365 dynamic array formula in cell C3:

The FILTER function lets you extract specific values based on Boolean values, a value is included if the corresponding value is TRUE and excluded if the corresponding value is FALSE.

### 4.1 Explaining formula

#### Step 1 - Identify text values

ISTEXT(B3:B9)

becomes

ISTEXT({"A";1;#DIV/0!;"B";TRUE;2;"V"})

and returns

{TRUE;FALSE;FALSE;TRUE;FALSE;FALSE;TRUE}

#### Step 2 - Filter values

The FILTER function extracts values/rows based on a condition or criteria.

Function syntax: FILTER(array, include, [if_empty])

FILTER(B3:B9,ISTEXT(B3:B9))

becomes

FILTER({"A";1;#DIV/0!;"B";TRUE;2;"V"}, {TRUE;FALSE;FALSE;TRUE;FALSE;FALSE;TRUE})

and returns

{"A";"B";"V"}

## 5. If cell contains any text

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:

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:

### 5.1 Explaining formula in cell C10

#### Step 1 - Multiply by one

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

13*1 = 13

#### Step 2 - Check if value is a number

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

ISNUMBER(B10*1) returns TRUE.

#### Step 3 - Flip boolean value

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

NOT(ISNUMBER(B10*1))

becomes

NOT(TRUE) and returns FALSE.

#### Step 4 - Check if value is text

The ISTEXT function returns TRUE for all text values.

ISTEXT(B10) returns TRUE.

#### Step 5 - Perform AND logic by multiplying

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

ISTEXT(B10)*NOT(ISNUMBER(B10*1))

becomes

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

#### Step 6 - Return "Text" or "Not text" based on logical expression

The IF function then returns the third argument.

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

becomes

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

and returns "Not text" in cell C10.

### Get Excel *.xlsx file

If cell contains any text.xlsx

### 'ISTEXT' function examples

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### Functions in 'Information' category

The ISTEXT function function is one of 19 functions in the 'Information' category.

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