The Excel ISREF function is an Information formula that returns TRUE if its argument is a reference, and FALSE otherwise. You can test the result of a formula or value of a cell using this function. this function can be especially useful in validation, formula analysis, and troubleshooting. In this guide, we’re going to show you how to use the Excel ISREF function and also go over some tips and error handling methods.

Supported versions

  • All Excel versions

Excel ISREF Function Syntax



value The value you want to test.


ISREF Function Examples

Basic Use Case

The Excel ISREF function, just like the other IS… functions, only requires a single argument as an input. The function returns a TRUE logical value if the value argument is a reference, and FALSE if it's not. Thus, referencing a cell or range directly returns TRUE logical value. Below is an example that involves various reference types.

=ISREF(A3) returns TRUE

=ISREF(1234.56) returns FALSE

excel isref

Reference Returning Formula Test

Another common use case for this function is for testing whether a value returned by a formula contains any references. Use a reference returning formula for the value argument of the Excel ISREF function. The function evaluates the formula and returns a logical (Boolean) value as a result.




excel isref

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Tips for Using the ISREF Function

  • You can use the Excel ISREF function for the logical test component of an IF function.
  • Below is a list of some other Excel functions can return a reference:
  • Below is a list of other IS… functions:
    • ISBLANK to test blank cells
    • ISERR to test error values except #N/A
    • ISERROR to test all error values
    • ISNA to test #N/A error value specifically
    • ISNUMBER to test numbers
    • ISTEXT to test any item that is a text
    • ISNONTEXT to test any item that is not a text
    • ISEVEN to test even numbers
    • ISODD to test odd numbers