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How to keep cell blank when applying formula until data entered in Excel?

Author: Sun Last Modified: 2020-04-30

In Excel, if you apply a formula to a column range, the result will be displayed as zero while the reference cells are blank in the formula. But in this case, I want to keep the cell empty when apply formula until the reference cell entered with data, if there are any tricks to handle it?
doc keep blank until 1

Keep cell blank until data entered in

arrow blue right bubble Keep cell blank until data entered in

Actually, there is a formula that can help you to keep the formula cell empty until data entered in reference cells.

For instance, here to calculate the difference between column Value 1 and column Value 2 in column Differences, and you want to keep the cell blank if there are some blank cells in the column Value 1 and column Value2.

Select first cell that you want to place the calculated result, type this formula =IF(OR(ISBLANK(A2),ISBLANK(B2)), "", A2-B2), and drag fill handle down to apply this formula to the cells you need.
doc keep blank until 2

In the formula, A2 and B2 are the reference cells in the formula you want to apply, A2-B2 are the calculation you want to use.

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Comments (40)
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This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
how can i return both blank cells into a blank result


if b2="v","x"
if c2="v","y"
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
I am in xcel and need the cell where my formula is to remain blank until the data needed in the formula cells is entered. My formula is =A1+5
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
so at the minute i am trying to do totals on timesheets but in the formula which i have done E8-D8-0.50 in column I8 is showing as -0.50 how can i get it blank until data is inputted in those cells
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
Hi, Ollie, try this formula:
=IF(OR(ISBLANK(E8),ISBLANK(D8)), "",E8-D8-0.5)
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
Hi, Carmen,try this formula: =IF(OR(ISBLANK(B2),ISBLANK(C2)), "",B2/C2), it will keep blank until both of column C and column B are filled data.
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
Hi, thank you much appreciated but I am still getting an error.

" There's a problem with the formula

Not trying to type a formula?
When the first character is an equal ("=") or a minus ("-") sign, Excel thinks its a formula:
you type: =1+1 the cell shows 2

To get around this try to type an apostrophe first:
'=1+1 the cell shows =1+1

I copied your code and replaced the column numbers.
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
Hi there, I want to create an epidemiologic formula to calculate the incidence proportion, which is the number of new cases during a specified time period / the number of people at risk. So essentially, column B divided by column C. However, I am creating the document for students of mine for their exam, so they can just type in the values and get the answer. I tried the formula you provided above =IF(OR(ISBLANK(A2),ISBLANK(B2)), "", A2-B2) but I keep getting an error. Can anyone assist?

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