Check if Excel cell text is numeric using formula only

All we need is an easy explanation of the problem, so here it is.

I have to find out if my cells text is a numeric value and wanted to use an elegant non VBA method that doesn’t impede on its current state or value.

What I’ve found is that the ISNUMBER() function only works if the cells are number formatting or has no spaces if text formatting e.g.:

number as text examples

For the first three I’ve used =ISNUMBER(...) and my last attempt is =ISNUMBER(TRIM(...)).

The only method I’ve used that doesn’t use VBA is to override my current values using text to columns then use the =ISNUMBER() function.

Note: I am proficient with VBA and Excel and understand I could create a user-defined function. But I don’t want to as this imposes a macro required workbook or an add-in to be installed, which I can and have done in some cases.

I will appreciate any advice, thoughts (even if they tell me it can’t be done) or VBA solutions (won’t be marked as answer however).

How to solve :

I know you bored from this bug, So we are here to help you! Take a deep breath and look at the explanation of your problem. We have many solutions to this problem, But we recommend you to use the first method because it is tested & true method that will 100% work for you.

Method 1

Try multiplying the cell value by 1, and then running the IsNumber and Trim functions, e.g.,:


Method 2

Assuming the value you want to convert is in A1 you can use the following formula:


Here the functions clean and trim are removing whitespace and none printable characters. The function value converts a string to a number, and with the converted string we can check if the value is a number.

Method 3

The shortest answer I’ve got to my question is:


Thanks brettdj

Method 4

I know this post is old but I found this very useful in this case
I had a formula that returned (333), even though it is a number and ISNUMBER will say it is a number even though I did not want an answer if it had characters other than digits. The following worked for me.

=IF(AND(ISNUMBER(--(MID(A1,ROW(INDIRECT("1:"&LEN(A1))),1)))),"Is Number","")

It works if there is ANY characters other than digits. If you just want a true false drop the IF


As David Zemens stated


Works but if there is a “-” or the number is in parentheses it will say it is a number.

I hope this helps you or others.

Method 5

if anyone needs to filter cells that contain anything that is not numeric:


decimals and negatives result FALSE

Method 6

I’m pretty late to the party, but, possibly the easiest, or shortest genuine test (note that the N function converts the number) is =ISNUMBER(--A1).

Using the examples you posted above…

Check if Excel cell text is numeric using formula only

As with a lot of Excel shortcuts, the ‘–‘ forces Excel to assume the value afterward is a number, then all spaces are ignored. It’s as if you had typed --123 directly into a box (– obviously gives a positive number).

The third example also shows that other textual values in the string don’t simply cause an error output for ISNUMBER.

Number ISNUMBER() Format Comments
123456 TRUE Numeric Plain number
123456 TRUE Text Number as text
123456A FALSE Text Number with ‘A’ tagged on the end
123456 TRUE Text Number prefixed with four spaces

Note: Use and implement method 1 because this method fully tested our system.
Thank you 🙂

All methods was sourced from or, is licensed under cc by-sa 2.5, cc by-sa 3.0 and cc by-sa 4.0

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