Excel CELL function

The ‘CELL’ function in Excel returns information about a specified cell. The information returned varies depending on the ‘info_type’ argument selected.




  • info_type – The output returned from the CELL formula will vary depending on the ‘info_type’ argument you select. The options available are as follows:
    • address – Returns the cell reference of the specified cell in text form.
    • col – Returns the column number of the specified cell.
    • color – Returns 1 if the referenced cell is formatted to be a different colour when negative. Returns 0 if no such formatting exists.
    • contents – Returns the contents of the specified cell.
    • filename – Returns the file name and file path of the specified cell in text format.
    • format – Returns the format code of the specified cell.
    • parentheses – Returns 1 if the specified cell is formatted with parentheses, and 0 if it is not.
    • prefix – Returns a single quotation mark if the text in the specified cell is left aligned (‘), double quotation if right aligned (“) or a caret if centered (^).
    • protect – Returns 1 if the specified cell is locked, or 0 if not locked.
    • row – Returns the row number of the specified cell.
    • type – Returns ‘b’ if the specified cell is empty, ‘l’ if the specified cell contains text, and ‘v’ for anything else.
    • width – Returns the width of the specified cell, rounded up to the nearest whole number. Width is defined as the width of a singular character in the default font size.
  • reference (optional) – The cell reference you wish to extract information about. If no reference is selected, the default option is the cell in which the CELL formula is located.

Function category



The CELL function will return information about the formatting, location, or contents of a specified cell.

Download Excel File

 Example of CELL formula

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