How to Use the ISNUMBER Function in Google Sheets


ISNUMBER is a function that is used to determine whether the content of the cell meets the specific criteria that you need. This function proves to be more valuable when it gets combined with other functions. So let’s learn through this article how this function can be used in ways with other functions as well to meet our needs.

ISNUMBER Functions

This function and it’s formula is very easy to use. Basically, it returns TRUE if the value contained in a number and return FALSE if the value referred is not a number. The syntax for this function is -=ISNUMBER(value) here,

  • Value – this is the value that will be checked to see if it is a number or not. You can put a value directly in the function or it can be a cell reference. The image below shows the function clearly.
ISNUMBER example

Usage of ISNUMBER Function

If cell contains numbers

Since if mentioned above that ISNUMBER is often used with combination of other functions too. Here we show how combination of ISNUMBER function and IF function is one of the most prevalent uses of this function. By merging these two functions, you can develop a formula that checks to see if a cell contains a number and then returns a certain value if it does.

We now know the syntax of ISNUMBER and you already might know the same of IF function too. But still just mention it here for quick reference, it is –

=IF(value_if_true, value_if_false)

And now let’s nest the two formulas-

=IF(ISNUMBER(value),”value if true” , “value if false”) here,

  • Value, is the value or cell to be checked whether it contains a number
  • Value if true, is what will be returned if ISNUMBER returns TRUE
  • Value if false, is what will be returned if ISNUMBER returns FALSE

Let’s provide you with an example to know that how you get to specify the value that is returned if your checked value is a number.

IF ISNUMBER
  • Conditional formatting for ISNUMBER function

This is one of the basic usage of ISNUMBER function that allows you to highlight the cells that contains numbers. This can be said to be done to make the analysis of data comfortable and easy. To perform this

  1. Select the cells to which you want to apply this function.
ISNUMBER conditional format
  1. Next, select Format option from the menu bar and from further pop-up select conditional formatting option.
ISNUMBER conditional format-1
  • Now, a tab will appear. In ‘Format cells if’ section of this tab, select the ‘Custom formula is’ option.
ISNUMBER conditional format-2
  • Next, you’ll find a text box below it in which you need to enter the formula. For the pack of data I took as an example. I’ll enter the formula =ISNUMBER(A2) as it’s corresponding to my range of cells.
ISNUMBER conditional format-3
  • Further, from the fill color option and select the color by which you want to highlight the results of this function and then click on Done.
ISNUMBER conditional format-4

Now you can see the results of all these steps.

ISNUMBER conditional format-6

This article will be surely helpful to you in learning the basic fundamentals of ISNUMBER function. However, it’s only the tip of the iceberg in terms of how you may utilize this function in your own spreadsheets. As you’ll practice it more, you’ll be able to use this as conjunction with other functions depending on your goals.

Harshita Mathur

My name is Harshita Mathur. I come from Jaipur, Rajasthan. I am a law student. Apart from this I am an amateur writer.

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