How Do You Show Data Type in Excel?


Larry Thompson

When working with data in Excel, it is important to understand and accurately represent the data types being used. Excel provides various formatting options to display the data type of a cell or range of cells. In this tutorial, we will explore different ways to show data types in Excel.

Using the Cell Formatting Options

To display the data type for a particular cell or range of cells, we can utilize the cell formatting options provided by Excel. Here’s how you can do it:

Step 1: Select the Cells

In order to apply formatting options, you need to first select the cells for which you want to show the data type. You can select a single cell or a range of cells by clicking and dragging over them.

Step 2: Open the Format Cells Dialog Box

Once you have selected the cells, right-click on them and choose “Format Cells” from the context menu that appears. Alternatively, you can also access this option from the Home tab in the Ribbon by clicking on the “Format” dropdown and selecting “Format Cells”.

Step 3: Choose Number Tab

In the Format Cells dialog box, navigate to the “Number” tab if it is not already selected.

Step 4: Select Category and Data Type

Underneath the Category section, you will find various options for different data types such as General, Number, Date, Time, etc. You can choose any category based on your requirements.

Step 5: Customize Formatting Options (Optional)

If needed, you can further customize how your data type is displayed by using additional formatting options available in this dialog box. For example, you can specify decimal places for numbers or choose a specific date format.

Step 6: Apply the Formatting

After selecting the appropriate options, click on the “OK” button to apply the formatting to the selected cells. The chosen data type will now be displayed for each cell in the selected range.

Using Formulas to Determine Data Type

In addition to using cell formatting options, Excel also provides formulas that allow you to determine the data type of a cell or range of cells. Here are a few formulas that can be helpful:

  • =CELL(“type”, A1): This formula returns a number representing the data type of cell A1. For example, 1 for numeric values, 2 for text values, and so on.
  • =ISNUMBER(A1): This formula returns “TRUE” if cell A1 contains a numeric value and “FALSE” otherwise.
  • =ISTEXT(A1): This formula returns “TRUE” if cell A1 contains a text value and “FALSE” otherwise.

You can use these formulas in combination with conditional formatting or other logical functions to highlight or manipulate cells based on their data types.


In this tutorial, we explored different methods to show data types in Excel. By using cell formatting options and formulas, you can easily represent and work with different data types in your spreadsheets. Remember that accurately representing data types is crucial for performing calculations correctly and ensuring data integrity.

Now that you know how to show data types in Excel, go ahead and start applying these techniques in your own spreadsheets!

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