# 30 Excel Functions in 30 Days: 21 – TYPE

Yesterday, in the 30XL30D challenge, we got cell addresses with the ADDRESS function, and combined it with INDIRECT to get a cell’s value.
For day 21 in the challenge, we’ll examine the TYPE function. It identifies the type of value in a cell, by returning a number.
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).
So, let’s take a look at the TYPE information and examples, and if you have other tips or examples, please share them in the comments.

### Function 21: TYPE

The TYPE function returns a number, that identifies a value’s type:

Here’s the list of results, and the data types:

### How Could You Use TYPE?

The TYPE function can tell you what kind of value is in a cell, but the logical functions, like ISERROR, ISTEXT, etc., will also check for a specific data type. However, if you just want to know what’s in a cell, the TYPE function can:

• Identify cell value type by number
• Test for Number type before multiplying

### TYPE Syntax

The TYPE function has the following syntax:

• TYPE(value)
• value can be text, number, error, or any other value

### TYPE Traps

Unfortunately, the TYPE function cannot identify cells that contain a formula. It only shows the type for a cell’s contents, or a formula’s result. In a few versions of Excel, the Help files incorrectly reported that a formula would return 8 with the TYPE function. This MSKB article corrects that error.
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/119148

### Example 1: Identify cell value type by number

The TYPE function returns number, based on a value’s type, so you can use it to see what’s in a cell. For example, if you type 123 in cell B3, the result of this formula is 1 — Number.
=TYPE(B3)

However, if there is an apostrophe in front of the number, the TYPE function result would be 2 — Text.

### Example 2: Test for Number type before multiplying

You could use the TYPE function with CHOOSE, to multiply valid numbers, or show a message, if something else is entered.
=CHOOSE(MIN(TYPE(B3),3),B3*C3,”No text”,”Enter Qty”)

• If a number is entered in B3, the TYPE function returns 1, so the CHOOSE function returns the result of B3*C3.

• If text is entered in B3, the TYPE function returns 2, so the CHOOSE function returns the message “No text”.

• If anything else is entered in B3, the TYPE function returns a 4 or higher. The MIN function result will be 3, so the CHOOSE function returns the message “Enter Qty”.