Handling of Empty Cells

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In older versions of the software, empty cells were forced to numeric 0 in some contexts and to empty string in others, except in direct comparison where =A1=0 and =A1="" both resulted in TRUE if A1 was empty. Emptiness now is inherited until used, so both =VLOOKUP(...)=0 and =VLOOKUP(...)="" give TRUE if the lookup resulted in an empty cell being returned.

A simple reference to an empty cell is still displayed as numeric 0 but is not necessarily of type numeric anymore, so also comparisons with the referencing cell work as expected.

For the following examples, A1 contains a number, B1 is empty, C1 contains the reference to B1:

A1: 1 B1: <Empty> C1: =B1 (displays 0)

=B1=0 => TRUE

=B1="" => TRUE

=C1=0 => TRUE

=C1="" => TRUE (previously was FALSE)

=ISNUMBER(B1) => FALSE

=ISNUMBER(C1) => FALSE (previously was TRUE)

=ISNUMBER(VLOOKUP(1;A1:C1;2)) => FALSE (B1)

=ISNUMBER(VLOOKUP(1;A1:C1;3)) => FALSE (C1, previously was TRUE)

=ISTEXT(B1) => FALSE

=ISTEXT(C1) => FALSE

=ISTEXT(VLOOKUP(1;A1:C1;2)) => FALSE (B1, previously was TRUE)

=ISTEXT(VLOOKUP(1;A1:C1;3)) => FALSE (C1)

=ISBLANK(B1) => TRUE

=ISBLANK(C1) => FALSE

=ISBLANK(VLOOKUP(1;A1:C1;2)) => TRUE (B1, previously was FALSE)

=ISBLANK(VLOOKUP(1;A1:C1;3)) => FALSE (C1)

Note.png Note that Microsoft Excel behaves different and always returns a number as the result of a reference to an empty cell or a formula cell with the result of an empty cell. For example:

A1: <Empty>

B1: =A1 => displays 0, but is just a reference to an empty cell

=ISNUMBER(A1) => FALSE

=ISTEXT(A1) => FALSE

=A1=0 => TRUE

=A1="" => TRUE

=ISNUMBER(B1) => FALSE (MS-Excel: TRUE)

=ISTEXT(B1) => FALSE

=B1=0 => TRUE

=B1="" => TRUE (MS-Excel: FALSE)

C1: =VLOOKUP(...) with empty cell result => displays empty (MS-Excel: displays 0)

=ISNUMBER(VLOOKUP(...)) => FALSE

=ISTEXT(VLOOKUP(...)) => FALSE

=ISNUMBER(C1) => FALSE (MS-Excel: TRUE)

=ISTEXT(C1) => FALSE