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Excel CELL Function

Find Information about a Worksheet Cell using the CELL Function


Excel CELL Function

Excel CELL Function

© Ted French

Excel’s CELL function is one of a group of “Information Functions” that can be used to find out information about a specific cell, worksheet or workbook.

The CELL function's job is to give out information about a cell such as its formatting, the type of data it contains, and whether or not the cell is locked or protected.

The syntax for the CELL function is:

= CELL (info_type , reference )

Info_type: Refers to the type of cell information being sought.

Only specific key words can be used for this parameter. A list of the keywords can be found in Excel's help file for this function.

Reference: Refers to the cell reference that is being checked.

Example Using Excel 's CELL Function:

  1. Type a number, such as " 23 ", into cell D1.

  2. Click on cell E1 - the location where the results will be displayed.

  3. Click on the Formulas tab.

  4. Choose More Functions > Information from the ribbon to open the function drop down list.

  5. Click on CELL in the list to bring up that function's dialog box.

  6. Enter the word "type" on the Info_type line of the dialog box

  7. Click on the Reference line in the dialog box.

  8. Click on cell D1 in the spreadsheet to enter the cell reference into the dialog box.

  9. Click OK.

  10. The letter " v " should appear in cell E1 to indicate that the data in the cell is a value.

  11. The complete function = CELL ( " type " , D1 ) appears in the formula bar above the worksheet when you click on cell E1.


  • If cell D1 was empty, the letter " b " would appear in cell E1 to indicate that the cell was blank.
  • If cell D1 contained a word of text, the letter " l " would appear in cell E1 to indicate that the cell contained a label.
  • If cell D1 contained a date, the letter " v " would appear in cell E1 to indicate that the cell contained a value - dates are often considered to be values in Excel.

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