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I have a cell with the function =IF(ISBLANK(C10),"",A10) -- if C10 is empty then make this cell empty too, otherwise make this cell equal A10.

This works, mostly, but when the C10 is blank it actually inserts the quotes into the destination cell, which changes the formatting to "this is a number stored as text". How do I insert a true null?

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It has to be your formatting. I created a new spreadsheet and put in your Formula. It works as expected. – kobaltz Mar 13 '12 at 19:45
    
@kobaltz, you're absolutely right. In a new worksheet it works just fine! Post as answer and get your dues. :) – matt wilkie Mar 13 '12 at 19:52
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Note that a null "" returned by a formula doesn't always behave like a blank. For instance if your formula is in B10 then even if C10 is blank (and B10 looks blank) you'll still get FALSE from =ISBLANK(B10) – barry houdini Mar 13 '12 at 20:06
    
It has to be your formatting. I created a new spreadsheet and put in your Formula. It works as expected. – kobaltz Mar 13 '12 at 20:07
up vote 1 down vote accepted

From the comments:

It has to be your formatting. I created a new spreadsheet and put in your Formula. It works as expected. – kobaltz Mar 13 '12 at 19:45

@kobaltz, you're absolutely right. In a new worksheet it works just fine! Post as answer and get your dues. :) – matt wilkie Mar 13 '12 at 19:52

Note that a null "" returned by a formula doesn't always behave like a blank. For instance if your formula is in B10 then even if C10 is blank (and B10 looks blank) you'll still get FALSE from =ISBLANK(B10) – barry houdini Mar 13 '12 at 20:06

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