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In Excel, the ISBLANK function seems to effectively behave the same as a comparator of ="". However, the former requires more than double the amount of characters that the latter does.

Is there any useful difference between ISBLANK and =""? Are there any situations where it would be particularly preferable to use one over the other?

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If a formula is in the cell, but there is no text there, then ="" will return true, and =ISBLANK will be false.

To see this, do =CONCATENATE(B1,B2) (where those cells are blank) and test both of those formulas one the cell where you put concatenate.

More simply put (thanks to @Malachi) ISBLANK will tell you if the cell is empty, and ="" will tell you if the display text is empty (note that white-space and invisible characters both count as displayed text).

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so you are saying that ISBLANK says whether or not the Cell is Blank, and ="" says whether the Display Text is empty – Malachi Oct 19 '12 at 13:49
@Malachi that is a much cleaner way of saying it. Mind if I add that to my answer? – soandos Oct 19 '12 at 13:54
i don't mind at all, go ahead :) – Malachi Oct 19 '12 at 13:56
+1, Interestingly COUNTBLANK doesn't differentiate, it counts both true blanks and cells containing "" – barry houdini Oct 19 '12 at 20:37

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