I have a range of LibreOffice Calc cells A1:M218. Most rows have a "Y', for Yes, in a single column, with all other cells of the row blank. But some rows are completely empty. I want to identify the empty rows.

Is there a function that can be entered in column N that will highlight the empty rows by returning a specified character?

Also, please advise whether the solution would work in MS Excel, as well.

  • "can be entered in column N which will highlight the empty rows by returning a specified character" - could you please explain this? – Máté Juhász Aug 17 '16 at 12:44
  • Thanks for your speedy response. Any character to highlight that the row is empty i.e. none of the columns contain a "Y" – Lonscale Bear Aug 17 '16 at 12:55
  • Your range has 13 columns. It isn't clear whether all contain either Y or are empty (vs. some containing something else, or row labels, etc.). Also, is each row either completely blank or it contains Y in only a single cell, or can more than one column contain Y? Are the empty cells guaranteed to actually be empty, or might they contain some type of "empty" or "blank" placeholder? – fixer1234 Aug 17 '16 at 20:23
  • Those rows containing a Y will have a Y in one column only. All other cells in that row will be empty. Some rows will have no Y and all cells in the row will be empty.....it is these rows which I need identifying. Empty cells are guaranteed to be empty, with no placeholder function. – Lonscale Bear Aug 18 '16 at 14:28
  • @LonscaleBear, the system notifies people, other than the author, when there's a comment only if that person was the only other participant on a post. I just stumbled back across your comment. You can alert another participant by "addressing" the comment to them with @, like I did here. I posted an answer for you. I'll also clarify your question with the information in your comment so it will be easier for other people to answer. – fixer1234 Aug 19 '16 at 2:16

Note: This is a total rewrite to focus on the most applicable solutions.

The simplest solution is probably the following (shown for row 1):


This relies on your description that the only exception to all blanks would be a "Y". This counts Y's. A count of zero is treated as false, which produces the word "Blank" as output (you can make that anything you want). Any count of 1 or more Y's is treated as true, and outputs null (an empty cell; it's entered as a pair of double-quotes with nothing between them).

Another way to do this is to look for the blank cells rather than the filled cells:


There are 13 columns in the range A:M. This counts how many are blank. If all 13 are blank, the row is blank.

Note: In either case, you enter the formula once in column N and then just copy it or drag it to fill the results cells as needed. BTW, these will both work in Excel as well as Calc.

  • I've used your fourth formula and it works like a charm. Many thanks for your time and expertise. – Lonscale Bear Aug 19 '16 at 7:07

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