CELL

Returns information about the formatting, location, or contents of the upper-left cell in a reference.

Syntax

CELL(info_type,reference)

Info_type     is a text value that specifies what type of cell information you want. The following list shows the possible values of info_type and the corresponding results.

Info_type Returns
"address" Reference of the first cell in reference, as text.
"col" Column number of the cell in reference.
"color" 1 if the cell is formatted in color for negative values; otherwise returns 0 (zero).
"contents" Value of the upper-left cell in reference; not a formula.
"filename" Filename (including full path) of the file that contains reference, as text. Returns empty text ("") if the worksheet that contains reference has not yet been saved.
"format" Text value corresponding to the number format of the cell. The text values for the various formats are shown in the following table. Returns "-" at the end of the text value if the cell is formatted in color for negative values. Returns "()" at the end of the text value if the cell is formatted with parentheses for positive or all values.
"parentheses" 1 if the cell is formatted with parentheses for positive or all values; otherwise returns 0.
"prefix" Text value corresponding to the "label prefix" of the cell. Returns single quotation mark (') if the cell contains left-aligned text, double quotation mark (") if the cell contains right-aligned text, caret (^) if the cell contains centered text, backslash (\) if the cell contains fill-aligned text, and empty text ("") if the cell contains anything else.
"protect" 0 if the cell is not locked, and 1 if the cell is locked.
"row" Row number of the cell in reference.
"type" Text value corresponding to the type of data in the cell. Returns "b" for blank if the cell is empty, "l" for label if the cell contains a text constant, and "v" for value if the cell contains anything else.
"width" Column width of the cell rounded off to an integer. Each unit of column width is equal to the width of one character in the default font size.

Reference     is the cell that you want information about. If omitted, information specified in info_type is returned for the last cell that was changed. The following list describes the text values CELL returns when info_type is "format", and reference is a cell formatted with a built-in number format.

If the Microsoft Excel format is CELL returns
General "G"
0 "F0"
#,##0 ",0"
0.00 "F2"
#,##0.00 ",2"
$#,##0_);($#,##0) "C0"
$#,##0_);[Red]($#,##0) "C0-"
$#,##0.00_);($#,##0.00) "C2"
$#,##0.00_);[Red]($#,##0.00) "C2-"
0% "P0"
0.00% "P2"
0.00E+00 "S2"
# ?/? or # ??/?? "G"
m/d/yy or m/d/yy h:mm or mm/dd/yy "D4"
d-mmm-yy or dd-mmm-yy "D1"
d-mmm or dd-mmm "D2"
mmm-yy "D3"
mm/dd "D5"
h:mm AM/PM "D7"
h:mm:ss AM/PM "D6"
h:mm "D9"
h:mm:ss "D8"

If the info_type argument in the CELL formula is "format", and if the cell is formatted later with a custom format, then you must recalculate the worksheet to update the CELL formula.

Remark

The CELL function is provided for compatibility with other spreadsheet programs.

Example

The example may be easier to understand if you copy it to a blank worksheet.

ShowHow to copy an example

  1. Create a blank workbook or worksheet.
  2. Select the example in the Help topic.

 Note   Do not select the row or column headers.

Selecting an example from Help

Selecting an example from Help
  1. Press CTRL+C.
  2. In the worksheet, select cell A1, and press CTRL+V.
  3. To switch between viewing the results and viewing the formulas that return the results, press CTRL+` (grave accent), or on the Formulas tab, in the Formula Auditing group, click the Show Formulas button.
 
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Data
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TOTAL
Formula Description (Result)
=CELL("row",A20) The row number of cell A20 (20)
=CELL("format", A2) The format code of the first string (D2, see above)
=CELL("contents", A3) The content of cell A3 (TOTAL)
 
 
Applies to:
Excel 2003