[Excel] How to Select and Highlight Blank Cells in Excel: A Step-by-Step Guide

How to Select and Highlight Blank Cells in Excel: A Step-by-Step Guide


“Discover the quick and easy way to select and highlight blank cells in Excel. Follow our step-by-step guide to master this essential Excel skill.”


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What are Blank Cells in Excel? 

Blank cells in Excel refer to the cells within a worksheet that contain no data, formulas, or content. They are empty spaces that have not been filled with any value or information. Here’s a more detailed explanation:

Characteristics of Blank Cells in Excel:

  1. No Content: Blank cells are devoid of any text, numbers, dates, or other types of data.
  2. No Formulas: Unlike other cells that might contain hidden formulas or calculations, blank cells have no underlying formulas.
  3. Appearance: They appear as empty white spaces in the grid of an Excel worksheet.
  4. Impact on Calculations: Blank cells can affect certain calculations and functions, such as averages or sums, as Excel may interpret them differently from zero values.
  5. Use in Analysis: Identifying and handling blank cells is often an essential step in data cleaning and preparation, especially when working with large datasets.

Why Blank Cells Exist:

  • Data Import: Blank cells may occur when importing data from other sources where certain fields may be missing.
  • User Input: They may also result from user input where certain information was not provided or omitted.
  • Template Design: In some cases, blank cells are intentionally left in templates to be filled in later.

Handling Blank Cells:

  • Finding and Selecting: Excel provides tools like the “Go To Special” dialogue box to find and select blank cells easily.
  • Filling or Replacing: You can fill blank cells with specific values, use formulas to replace them, or even delete rows or columns containing blank cells.
  • Conditional Formatting: Excel allows you to apply conditional formatting rules to highlight or format blank cells differently.

How to Select and highlight empty cells with Go To Special

Blank Cells:

  • Age Column: Blank cells for Jane Doe and Mike Lee.
  • Occupation Column: Blank cells for Tom Harris and Sara Adams.
  • Salary Column: Blank cells for Emily Chen and Sara Adams.

How to select and highlight blank cells in Excel

Instructions to Highlight Blank Cells:

1. Select the Range:

Click and drag to select the entire range (A2:E8).

How to select and highlight blank cells in Excel

2. Open ‘Go To Special’ Dialogue Box:

PressF5, then click “Special…“.

How to select and highlight blank cells in Excel

3. Choose ‘Blanks’:

Select the “Blanks” option and click “OK”.

How to select and highlight blank cells in Excel

4. Apply Highlight:

With the blank cells selected, go to the “Home” tab, click the “Fill Color” button, and choose a color.

select balnks

How to select and highlight blank cells in Excel

More Ways to Select and Highlight Blank Cells in Excel

1. Select the range and click Sort & Filter -> Filter on the Home tab. or press CTRL + SHIFT + L

2. Click the drop-down arrow for blank values.

Filter and highlight blanks


With this structure, your blog post about selecting and highlighting blank cells in Excel should be informative and engaging for readers. Feel free to add examples, screenshots, or video tutorials to enhance the user experience. By following these steps, readers can quickly identify and highlight blank cells in their Excel worksheets, improving their data management skills.