How Do I Find Data Type in Excel?


Heather Bennett

Excel is a powerful tool that allows you to store and analyze data. One of the fundamental aspects of working with data in Excel is understanding the data types. By knowing the data type of a cell or range in Excel, you can perform various calculations, apply formatting, and manipulate the data effectively.

How to Find Data Type in Excel

To determine the data type of a cell or range in Excel, follow these steps:

Step 1: Select the Cell or Range

Start by selecting the cell or range that you want to check for its data type. You can do this by clicking on a single cell or dragging your cursor across multiple cells.

Step 2: Look at the Formula Bar

The formula bar is located at the top of your Excel window and displays the content and formulas of selected cells. When you select a cell or range, take a look at the formula bar to find out its data type.

If it contains:

  • Text: If the content in the formula bar is enclosed in quotation marks (e.g., “Sample Text”), then it represents a text value.
  • Number: If there are no quotation marks and you see only numbers (e., 123), it indicates a numeric value.
  • Date/Time: Dates and times are recognized by Excel as numbers. If you see a numerical value followed by formatting like “mm/dd/yyyy” or “hh:mm AM/PM,” it represents a date or time value.
  • Error Value: If you encounter an error message like “#DIV/0!”

    or “#VALUE! “, it means that an error has occurred during calculation.

  • Formula: If the content starts with an equal sign (=), it signifies a formula. The result of the formula may be either text, number, date/time, or an error value.

Step 3: Use the Data Type Functions

If you want to determine the data type programmatically or use it in a formula, Excel provides several functions that can help:

  • ISNUMBER: This function returns TRUE if the value is a number and FALSE if it is not. For example, =ISNUMBER(A1) will return TRUE if cell A1 contains a number.
  • ISTEXT: Similar to ISNUMBER, this function returns TRUE if the value is text and FALSE if it is not.

    For example, =ISTEXT(A1) will return TRUE if cell A1 contains text.

  • ISBLANK: This function checks whether a cell is empty (contains no value) and returns TRUE or FALSE accordingly. For example, =ISBLANK(A1) will return TRUE if cell A1 is empty.


Data types in Excel can affect how calculations are performed or how data is displayed. It’s essential to understand the data types involved in your spreadsheet to avoid any unexpected results or errors.

In Conclusion

In this tutorial, we explored how to find data types in Excel using various methods. By understanding the data types of your cells or ranges, you can make informed decisions when applying formulas and formatting to your data.

To recap:

  1. Select the cell or range you want to check.
  2. Look at the formula bar to identify the data type.
  3. Utilize functions like ISNUMBER, ISTEXT, and ISBLANK for programmatic use.

Remember that data types play a crucial role in Excel and can impact your calculations and analyses. With this knowledge, you can confidently work with your data in Excel.

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