How to Only Return Results from Non-Blank Cells in Microsoft Excel

In this article, we will learn How to Only Return Results from Non-Blank Cells in Microsoft Excel.

What is a blank and non blank cell in Excel?

In Excel, Sometimes we don't even want blank cells to disturb the formula. Most of the time we don't want to work with a blank cell as it creates errors using the function. For Example VLOOKUP function returns #NA error when match type value is left blank. There are many functions like ISERROR which treats errors, but In this case we know the error is because of an empty value. So We learn the ISBLANK function in a formula with IF function.

IF - ISBLANK formula in Excel

ISBLANK function returns TRUE or FALSE boolean values based on the condition that the cell reference used is blank or not. Then use the required formula in the second or third argument.

Syntax of formula:

=IF(ISBLANK(cell_ref),[formula_if_blank],[ formula_if_false]

Cell ref : cell to check, if cell is blank or not.

Formula_if_true : formula or value if the cell is blank. Use Empty value ("") if you want empty cell in return

Formula_if_false : formula or value if the cell is not blank. Use Empty value ("") if you want empty cell in return

Example :

All of these might be confusing to understand. Let's understand how to use the function using an example. Here we have some values on list 1 and we only want the formula to return the same value if not blank and empty value if blank.




ISBLANK : function checks the cell D5.

"" :  returns an empty string blank cell instead of Zero.

IF function performs a logic_test if the test is true, it returns an empty string else returns the same value.

The resulting output will be like

As you can see the formula returns the same value or blank cell based on the logic_test.

ISBLANK function with example

ISBLANK function returns TRUE or FALSE having cell reference as input.


=ISBLANK (cell_ref)

Cell_ref : cell reference of cell to check e.g. B3

All of these might be confusing to understand. Let's understand how to use the function using an example. Here We have some Values to test the function, except in the A5 cell. A5 cell has a formula that returns empty text.

Use the Formula


It returns False as there is text in the A2 cell.

Applying the formula in other cells using Ctrl + D shortcut key.

You must be wondering why didn’t the function returns False. As A5 cell has a formula making it non blank.

Hope this article about How to Only Return Results from Non-Blank Cells in Microsoft Excel is explanatory. Find more articles on blank values and related Excel formulas here. If you liked our blogs, share it with your friends on Facebook. And also you can follow us on Twitter and Facebook. We would love to hear from you, do let us know how we can improve, complement or innovate our work and make it better for you. Write to us at

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Adjusting a Formula to Return a Blank : Formula adjusts its result on the basis of whether the cell is blank or not. Click the link to know how to use ISBLANK function with IF function in Excel.

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  1. Hi can someone please help. I want a cell to have today's date in, TODAY(), only if another cell is completed. So we only need today's date if a start date has been entered already. Can someone help me with the formular. Many thanks

    • Hi Donna,
      Let's say you put the start date in A2 and you want today's date in B2 then use this formula in B2.

  2. Good Morning. I am trying to use Conditional Formatting with the ISBLANK.
    What I am after is if there is a Value in any CELL eg. (S2:T501), Format the Corresponding Cell in F. eg if there is a Value in S14, then F14 will be formatted. Or Do I have to Conditionally Format each Cell in Col F
    Thanking you

  3. I have a column of times with variable blank cells between them. Columns are unit numbers.

    I want to sort the times automatically with no blank cells between them in new cells so I can use a forumla that to figures out average trip times per unit ie start time and end time

  4. I have a spreadsheet where a due date in column H and date mailed in Column I. i have a calculation in column J to see if we met the 15 day requirement yes or no: =IF(AND(I2<=H2),"Yes","No").
    Problem is its displaying yes in all the fields that don't even have a due date yet. How can I get this not to show anything if a there is no due date entered?

  5. The following formula is not working for me =IF(ISBLANK(B4)=FALSE,DAY(B4),””)

    Here B4 contain a Date. The out put is #NAME?

    My requirement is needs a blank cell instead of 0 in other cell if the B4 cell is blank.

  6. Dan Akers' formula was a big help to me. I have a running list and wanted to auto-number each line as new items were added (ie, when something is typed into a field on row 7, another cell on that row would auto-enter a "7" to keep track of how many lines are populated). It's a stupid calculation but I didn't want to drag out 1000 numbers for empty rows. =IF(ISBLANK(B82)=FALSE,(A81+1),””) worked like a champ. Thanks again.

  7. I have a date in Column A, and I have a formula in Column H as follows: =SUM(A3+30)
    So a date appears in Column H which is 30 days after the date in Column A. Problem is that if there is no date in Column A, this appears in Column H: #VALUE! Is there any way to prevent this? I've spent days trying to figure this out. Greatly appreciated!!!!

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