ISFORMULA Function

What Is ISFORMULA Excel Function?

The ISFORMULA function in Excel is a useful tool that enables users to determine whether a cell contains a formula or not. When applied to a particular cell, this function returns TRUE if the cell contains any formula and FALSE if it only consists of static values or text. This functionality proves invaluable when working with large datasets, as it allows for quick identification of cells containing formulas, which can aid in debugging and error checking. Furthermore, users can utilize the ISFORMULA function in conjunction with other Excel functions to create more complex formulas and automate various processes.

The following example serves to illustrate the concept of utilizing the ISFORMULA function.

To begin, enter the complete formula “=ISFORMULA(A2)” in cell B2. After inputting each value in the previous step, press the Enter key. The resulting value will then be displayed in cells B2 to B4, as depicted in the accompanying image.

Syntax

The ISFORMULA function incorporates the following argument:

Reference – This is the required argument. This argument pertains to the cell that we aim to evaluate. The reference in the formula can encompass a cell reference, a formula, or a name that directs to a cell.

Key Takeaways
• ISFORMULA function in Excel streamlines data analysis processes and enhances the reliability of Excel worksheets by systematically assessing cells’ formulaic nature.
• Its primary purpose is to test whether a specified cell contains a formula or not, helping users differentiate between cells containing actual values and those with formulas.
• This function eliminates the need for manual inspection of cells, providing an automated and efficient solution for data analysis and verification.
• The ISFORMULA function enhances productivity and accuracy when working with spreadsheet data in professional settings with its straightforward syntax and ability to assess the presence of formulas within cells effectively.

How To Use ISFORMULA Function In Excel?

To effectively utilize the ISFORMULA function in Excel, follow these steps.

#1 – Access From The Excel Ribbon

Choose the empty cell which will contain the result.

Go to the Formulas tab and click it.

Select the More Function option from the menu.

Select the Information option from the drop-down list.

Select ISFORMULA from the drop-down menu.

A window called Function Arguments appears.

As the number of arguments, enter the value in the reference.

Select OK.

#2 – Enter The Worksheet Manually

Select an empty cell for the output.

Type =ISFORMULA () in the selected cell. Alternatively, type =I and double-click the ISFORMULA function from the list of suggestions shown by Excel.

Press the Enter key.

Examples

Example #1 – Highlight Cells With A Formula

To illustrate, you can utilize the ISFORMULA function in Excel to highlight cells containing formulas through conditional formatting.

Step 1: Below these headings, numbers are entered in columns A and B. In column C, a formula is applied to multiply the values in columns A and B. The complete formula in cell C2 is: =A2*B2.

Step 2: The ISFORMULA function serves the purpose of applying conditional formatting to highlight cells with formulas. To execute this, follow the steps below:

Step 3: Select cells A2:C4, ensuring that cell A2 is the active cell.
Step 4: On the Excel Ribbon’s Home tab, locate and click on the Conditional Formatting command.
Step 5: From the drop-down menu, select New Rule.

Step 6: Select the option “Use a formula to determine which cells to format.”
Step 7: Enter the ISFORMULA formula, referring to the active cell (A2) as follows: =ISFORMULA(A2).
Step 8: Click on the Format button and choose a fill color for the cells containing formulas. In this example, we have selected gray.
Step 9: Finally, click OK twice to close the windows.

Step 10: We can see the result in the below image.

Example #2 – Test A Cell For A Formula

The following example serves to illustrate the concept of using the ISFORMULA function to test a cell for a formula.

In the table,

• Column A contains the Data.
• Column B contains the Result.

To calculate the output, please follow these steps:

Step 1: Select the cell where we have to enter the formula. In this case, we will choose cell B2.

Step 2: Enter the formula in cell B2.

Step 3: The complete formula in cell B2 is =ISFORMULA(A2).

Step 4: After entering each value in the previous step, press the Enter key. We can see the resulting value in cells B2 to B4 in the below image.

Example #3 – Using ISFORMULA With A Range Of Cells

The following example serves to illustrate the concept of using the ISFORMULA function with a range of cells.

In the table,

• Column A contains the Data.
• Column B contains the Result.

To calculate the output, please follow these steps:

Step 1: Select the cell where we have to enter the formula. In this case, we will choose cell B2.

Step 2: Enter the formula in cell B2.

Step 3: The complete formula in cell B2 is

=SUMPRODUCT(–ISFORMULA(A2:A5)).

Step 4: After entering each value in the previous step, press the Enter key. We can see the resulting value in cells B2 to B5 in the below image.

Example #4 – Show Formula, If Cell Contains One

The following example serves to illustrate the concept of utilizing the ISFORMULA function to show the formula if the cell contains one.

In the given table, the data is presented as follows:

• Column A contains the Data.
• Column B contains the Result.

To compute the output, please adhere to the following steps:

Step 1: Choose the cell where the formula will be entered and the result will be calculated. In this instance, let us select cell B2.

Step 2: Input the formula in cell B2.

Step 3: The complete formula to be entered in cell B2 is

=IF(ISFORMULA(A2), FORMULATEXT(A2), “No Formula used”).

Step 4: Once each value has been entered in the preceding step, press the Enter key. The resulting value will be exhibited in cells B2 to B4, as depicted in the provided image.

Important Things To Note

• The #VALUE! error occurs when the reference is not a valid data type. This error indicates that the data being referenced does not conform to the expected format or data type.
• The ISFORMULA function will still return the result as TRUE as long as the cell contains a formula. This means that the presence of a formula in a cell can be confirmed using the ISFORMULA function, regardless of whether the formula itself is producing an error or not.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. Explain ISFORMULA function in Excel with an example.

The following example serves to illustrate the concept of utilizing the ISFORMULA function.

To start, enter the complete formula =ISFORMULA(A2) in cell B2. After entering each value in the previous step, press the Enter key. The resulting value will then be displayed in cells B2 to B4, as shown in the accompanying image.

2. Are there any limitations or restrictions with using the ISFORMULA function?

• Firstly, it only works with cells that contain formulas; if a cell has a hardcoded value or is empty, the ISFORMULA function will return false.
• Additionally, it cannot be used to check whether a range of cells contains any formulas. It only checks a single specified cell.
• Moreover, the ISFORMULA function might not work properly when applied to cells that are linked to external data sources or contain volatile functions like TODAY() or RAND(), as these functions can be recalculated upon each change in the worksheet.

3. Where is the ISFORMULA function in the Excel sheet?

One can activate the ISFORMULA function in Excel using the following steps:
•  Choose the empty cell which will contain the result.
• Go to the “Formulas” tab and click it.
• Select the “Information” group.
• Select “ISFORMULA” from the drop-down menu.
• A window called “Function Arguments” appears.
• As the number of arguments, enter the value in the “reference.”
Select OK.