# A to Z of Excel Functions: the CELL Function

24 April 2017

*Welcome back to our regular A to Z of Excel Functions blog. Today we look at the CELL function. *

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**The CELL function**

With our A t Z of Excel Functions series, you could argue we have been trying to make a soft **CELL** (get it?). We are well and truly in the high C’s now and the puns do not get any better. Ah well…

The **CELL** function returns information about the formatting, location, or contents of a cell. For example, if you want to verify that a cell contains a numeric value instead of text before you perform a calculation on it, you can use the following formula:

**=IF(CELL(**"type"**,** **A1)** = "v"**,** **A1** * 2**,** 0**)**

This formula calculates **A1***2 only if cell **A1** contains a numeric value, and returns 0 if **A1** contains text or is blank. The **CELL **function employs the following syntax to operate:

**CELL(info_type, [reference])**

The **CELL** function has the following arguments:

**Info_type:**this is required. This is a text value that specifies what type of cell information you want to return. The following list shows the possible values of the**Info_type**argument and the corresponding results:

**reference:**this is optional. This is the cell that you want information about. If this argument is omitted, the information specified in the**Info_type**argument is returned for the last cell that was changed. If the reference argument is a range of cells, the**CELL**function returns the information for only the upper left cell of the range.

*CELL Format Codes*

The following list describes the text values that the** CELL **function returns when the **Info_type **argument is "format" and the reference argument is a cell that is formatted with a built-in number format.

Please see my example below:

There’s lots you can do with **CELL**. You may recall in one of our Thought articles we used it to automate the file name using the formula

**=IF(ISERROR(OR(FIND("[",CELL("filename",A1)),FIND("]",CELL("filename",A1)))),"",MID(CELL("filename",A1),FIND("[",CELL("filename",A1))+1,FIND("]",CELL("filename",A1))-FIND("[",CELL("filename",A1))-1))**

You can read up on how this formula works by visiting the relevant article here.