The result is "FALSE" when you use the ISBLANK() function in an Excel spreadsheet


Symptoms


When you use the ISBLANK() function in a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet, the result is "FALSE". This behavior occurs even though the cell appears to be empty. Additionally, this behavior occurs even though the formula bar may show that nothing is in the cell.

Cause


This behavior may occur when the cell contains a zero-length string. A zero length string may be a result of the following conditions:
  • A formula.
  • A copy and paste operation.
  • A cell that contains a zero-length string is imported from a database that supports zero-length strings and that contains zero-length strings.

Workaround


To work around this issue, clear the zero-length string from the cell. To do this, select the cell, click Edit, and then click Clear All.

More Information


To create a zero-length string in Microsoft Excel, use any of the following methods:
  • Type a formula that evaluates the value "" in a cell.
  • Type a single apostrophe (') in a cell.
  • Copy a cell that contains either of the earlier values, and then paste only the values in another cell.
  • Import data from a database that supports and that contains zero-length strings.



If you use the third method or the fourth method in the bulleted listed to create a zero-length string, the formula bar is blank, but the cell is not.

References


For more information about zero-length strings, click the following article numbers to view the articles in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

178717 Excel ODBC driver and text ODBC driver notes

209098 Using the AllowZeroLength and Required properties in Access 2000

200459 You cannot enter zero-length strings on data access pages in Access 2000