Differentiating between blank and zero


It would be great if there were a way for a formula to differentiate between blank and 0 in a number field. Currently, cellname = "" and cellname = 0 both return true, whether the value is "" or 0.

I understand why this would be the default. It’s like truthy operators in JS (false == 0). But it would be useful if there were an option to circumvent that default behavior, and do a more strict comparison in a particular formula.

Potentially cell = BLANK() would return true for a blank value, but not for a zero value. Currently, equality comparison with BLANK() also returns true for 0.

Alternatively, it could be done with a new function - something like STRICTEQUALS(a, b).


For now, you can use COUNTA(cell) which returns 1 when a cell is non-blank (including zero) and 0 if it’s blank.

We may in the future consider adding an IS_BLANK() function since, as you pointed out, cell = BLANK() isn’t always equivalent and the COUNTA workaround isn’t very obvious.


Thanks, glad to know there’s a way to do it already.


Thanks! I needed this workaround tonight.


That’s a lifesaving workaround