30 Excel Functions in 30 Days: 14 – T

Icon30DayWelcome to another weekend in the 30XL30D challenge, and you’re probably exhausted from a long week of Excel work, and yesterday’s complicated example for the TRANPOSE function. Saturday is the perfect time for a refreshing spot of T!
For day 14 in the challenge, we’ll examine the T function, which is one of the less useful ones. It tests a value for text, and other functions do the same thing, so do we even need T?
NOTE: You can have all of the 30 Functions content in an easy-to-use single reference file — the 30 Excel Functions in 30 Days eBook Kit ($10).
To decide, let’s take a look at the T information and examples, and if you have other tips or examples, please share them in the comments.

Function 14: T

The T function returns the text from a value, or an empty string for no text.

How Could You Use T?

The T function has very limited use, and could be replaced by other functions, such as ISTEXT. You can use T to:

  • Return text if value is text
  • Return an empty string if value is non-text

T Syntax

The T function has the following syntax:

  • T(value)
    • value can be any value — typed in the formula, or a cell reference

T Traps

The T function returns an error if the value is an error, unlike ISTEXT, which returns FALSE for errors.

Example 1: Test If a Value is Text

I can’t think of a situation where T would be preferable to another function, like ISTEXT. Let’s compare the two functions, side by side, to see the results.
If a value is text, the T function returns that text. In the screenshot below, the T function is used in cell C4, to check the value in cell B4.
That looks like a number in cell B4, but there’s an apostrophe in front of it, so it’s actually text. The T function returns the “1234” string. In column D, the ISTEXT function also tests the value in cell B4, and returns the result of TRUE.
If the value is a number, as in cell B3, the T function result is an empty string. If you use ISTEXT instead, the result is FALSE.
For error values, the T function result is an error, and ISTEXT returns false.

Download the T Function File

To see the formulas used in today’s examples, you can download the T function sample workbook. The file is zipped, and is in Excel 2007 file format.

No T Function Video

With only one small example, there’s not enough information to make a demo video for the T function, so class is dismissed early today!