How Do I Find Data Type in Google Sheets?


Angela Bailey

Are you struggling to find the data type of a cell in Google Sheets? Look no further!

In this tutorial, we will explore different methods to identify the data type in your spreadsheet. Let’s dive in!

Using the VALUE Function

The easiest way to determine the data type of a cell in Google Sheets is by using the VALUE function. This function converts a text string into a numeric, date, or boolean value. Here’s how you can use it:

  1. Select an empty cell where you want to display the result.
  2. Enter the formula: =VALUE(cell_reference), replacing cell_reference with the reference of the cell you want to check.
  3. Press Enter to see the result.

If the returned value is a number, it means that the original cell contained numeric data. If it displays a date or time format, then your original cell contained a date or time value. And if it shows “TRUE” or “FALSE”, then your original cell was holding a boolean value.

Using Conditional Formatting

An alternative method to find data types is by utilizing conditional formatting rules. This method allows you to visually identify different data types based on their appearance. Here’s how:

  1. Select the range of cells you want to check.
  2. Navigate to Format > Conditional formatting in the menu bar.
  3. In the sidebar that appears, choose “Format cells if..” and select “Custom formula is” from the drop-down menu.
  4. In the input field next to “Custom formula is”, enter one of these formulas based on your desired data type:
    • Numerical: =ISNUMBER(A1)
    • Date: =ISDATE(A1)
    • Boolean: =ISTEXT(A1)
  5. Select the formatting style you want to apply to the cells matching the condition.
  6. Click “Done” to save your conditional formatting rule.

Now, any cell that matches the specified data type will be visually highlighted according to the formatting you applied. This method provides a quick and easy way to identify different data types in your Google Sheets.

Using Google Apps Script

If you’re comfortable with scripting, you can use Google Apps Script to find the data type of a cell programmatically. Here’s an example code snippet that accomplishes this:

function getDataType() {
  var sheet = SpreadsheetApp.getActiveSpreadsheet().getActiveSheet();
  var cell = sheet.getRange("A1");
  var dataType = cell.getDataType();
  Logger.log("Data type of A1: " + dataType);

This script retrieves the active sheet, selects cell A1, and uses the getDataType() method to determine its data type. The result is then logged in the Logger.

Note: Google Apps Script requires some knowledge of JavaScript and access to the script editor in Google Sheets.

In Conclusion

Finding data types in Google Sheets is essential for working with your spreadsheet effectively. Whether you prefer using formulas like VALUE, applying conditional formatting rules, or leveraging Google Apps Script, you now have the tools to easily identify different data types in your cells. Happy spreadsheeting!

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