troubleshooting Question

Excel formula which leaves a cell truly blank (empty)

Avatar of Steve_Brady
Steve_BradyFlag for United States of America asked on
Microsoft Excel
7 Comments1 Solution2556 ViewsLast Modified:
Hello,

When writing a formula in Excel (2010), how do you specify to leave a cell truly blank?

I am familiar with the double-quotation marks ("") used in Excel formula notation but although nothing is displayed, it is apparently not truly the same as a blank cell.

For example, suppose you've got a list of values (positive or negative) in column B and a formula in column C which returns the value in column B whenever it is positive—but for negative values in column B, it returns "". And then, suppose in column D, you insert a formula which displays a running balance for the entries in column C:

        B2:  any positive or negative number
        C2:  =IF(B2>0,B2,"")
        D2:  =D1+C2

In this case, the column D formula works fine as long as the values in column B are positive. But as soon as it encounters a negative value in column B (which results in an entry of "" in column C), it returns #VALUE!

I realize there are other ways to get around this problem (eg change "" to 0) in this simple example but the point of the question is to ask if there is an alternative to "" which behaves truly as a blank cell.

Thanks
Join the community to see this answer!
Join our exclusive community to see this answer & millions of others.
Unlock 1 Answer and 7 Comments.
Join the Community
Learn from the best

Network and collaborate with thousands of CTOs, CISOs, and IT Pros rooting for you and your success.

Andrew Hancock - VMware vExpert
See if this solution works for you by signing up for a 7 day free trial.
Unlock 1 Answer and 7 Comments.
Try for 7 days

”The time we save is the biggest benefit of E-E to our team. What could take multiple guys 2 hours or more each to find is accessed in around 15 minutes on Experts Exchange.

-Mike Kapnisakis, Warner Bros