In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the CELL function in Excel, which is a powerful tool for retrieving information about the formatting, location, or contents of a cell. Whether you are a beginner or an advanced user, this article will provide you with everything you need to know about the CELL function, including its syntax, examples, tips and tricks, common mistakes, troubleshooting, and related formulae.
The syntax for the CELL function in Excel is as follows:
There are two arguments in the CELL function:
- info_type (required): This is a text value that specifies the type of cell information you want to retrieve. There are several options available, such as “address”, “col”, “row”, “width”, “format”, “contents”, and more.
- reference (optional): This is the cell reference for which you want to retrieve the information. If omitted, the information will be retrieved for the last cell that was changed.
Let’s explore some examples of how to use the CELL function in Excel:
- Retrieve the address of a cell: To get the address of cell A1, you can use the following formula:
This will return the text “$A$1”, which is the absolute address of cell A1.
- Retrieve the column number of a cell: To get the column number of cell B2, you can use the following formula:
This will return the number 2, which is the column number of cell B2.
- Retrieve the row number of a cell: To get the row number of cell C3, you can use the following formula:
This will return the number 3, which is the row number of cell C3.
- Retrieve the width of a cell: To get the width of cell D4, you can use the following formula:
This will return the width of cell D4 in points.
- Retrieve the format of a cell: To get the format of cell E5, you can use the following formula:
This will return a text value that represents the format of cell E5, such as “G” for General, “F0” for Fixed, “C0” for Currency, and so on.
CELL Tips & Tricks
Here are some tips and tricks to help you get the most out of the CELL function in Excel:
- Remember that the CELL function is not case-sensitive, so you can use either uppercase or lowercase letters for the info_type argument.
- If you want to retrieve information for multiple cells, you can use an array formula. For example, to get the addresses of cells A1 to A5, you can use the following array formula (entered using Ctrl + Shift + Enter):
- Keep in mind that the CELL function is volatile, which means it will recalculate every time there is a change in the worksheet. This can slow down your workbook if you have many CELL functions in your worksheet.
Common Mistakes When Using CELL
Here are some common mistakes to avoid when using the CELL function in Excel:
- Using an incorrect info_type argument: Make sure you use a valid info_type value, as specified in the Excel documentation. Using an invalid value will result in a #VALUE! error.
- Forgetting to use quotation marks around the info_type argument: The info_type argument is a text value, so you need to enclose it in quotation marks. For example, use “address” instead of address.
- Not specifying a cell reference: Although the reference argument is optional, it’s a good practice to always specify a cell reference to avoid unexpected results.
Why Isn’t My CELL Function Working?
If your CELL function is not working as expected, here are some possible reasons and solutions:
- #VALUE! error: This usually occurs when you use an invalid info_type value or forget to enclose it in quotation marks. Double-check your formula and make sure you are using a valid info_type value enclosed in quotation marks.
- Incorrect result: If the CELL function returns an incorrect result, make sure you have specified the correct cell reference in the formula. Also, check if there are any changes in the worksheet that might affect the result, as the CELL function is volatile and recalculates every time there is a change.
CELL: Related Formulae
Here are some related formulae that you might find useful when working with the CELL function in Excel:
- ADDRESS: The ADDRESS function returns the cell address as a text value, based on the specified row and column numbers. For example:
This will return the text “$A$1”.
- ROW: The ROW function returns the row number of a specified cell. For example:
This will return the number 1.
- COLUMN: The COLUMN function returns the column number of a specified cell. For example:
This will return the number 1.
- INDIRECT: The INDIRECT function returns the value of a cell specified by a text string. This can be useful in combination with the CELL function to retrieve the value of a cell based on its address. For example:
This will return the value of cell A1.
- TEXT: The TEXT function can be used to format the value of a cell as a text string, based on the specified format. This can be useful in combination with the CELL function to display cell information in a specific format. For example:
=TEXT(CELL(“width”, A1), “0.00”)
This will return the width of cell A1 as a text string with two decimal places.
With this comprehensive guide, you should now have a solid understanding of the CELL function in Excel and be able to use it effectively in your worksheets. Remember to practice using the function and experiment with different info_type values and cell references to get the most out of this powerful tool.