Practical uses of the ISNUMBER formula in everyday work environment.

One use we discussed in this post was that we wrapped the match formula in an isnumber to get the TRUE or FALSE value for a conditional formatting that we want to apply.

isnumber wrapping match
Example of wrapping MATCH with ISNUMBER to get TRUE or FALSE

Any other legit use for ISNUMBER?

Perhaps the most important when you get some dirty data and you need to check whether that number (that you see as number) is really a number or a text. For this you can use the ISNUMBER function.
Why this is important? How can this be a problem?

When numbers posing as text they losing their values. In other words they can’t be added up, or manipulated/calculated with mathematical formulas.

How do they look? Is there any way to spot them?

Yes!. If you consistent with your data and not changing the orientation of cells Excel will help you to identify text.

See the pic below.
In column C those are numbers.
In column E those are text posing as numbers.
Spot the difference!

CORRECT! – The orientation in the cell!
Numbers are always oriented to the right, while text is always oriented to the left by default.

text posing as number in excel
Text posing as number in excel

But, but….
What if someone changed the orientation of the cell content?

grumpy cat
Oh well…

Then, we use the ISNUMBER formula.

What the ISNUMBER formula does?

It checks the content of a cell, and returns TRUE or FALSE whether the content of the cell is a number or not.

What the ISNUMBER formula needs?

Just a cell reference between the curled brackets.
Like this: =ISNUMBER(A1)

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