I have an excel file with empty cells in the Company Column How do I replace the empty cells with "N/A" ? Is this the correct/best approach? If not, what is a better approach in preparing the data for analysis

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    Select the column > Data > Filter > then remove all checkbox in the filter except for Blanks and fill those with "n/a". – shinjijai Apr 6 '18 at 19:34
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    Please ask only one question at a time. Avoid questions like “Is this the correct/best approach?” and “What is a better approach?” because they are opinion based. If you need to ask something like that, explain what sort of analysis you are going to do and what your objectives are. – G-Man Says 'Reinstate Monica' Apr 6 '18 at 19:51
  • @G-Man +1, the value used to represent missing values depends entirely on the tools you're using for analysis. SPSS uses the ".", R uses the "na", no matter what you use, changing between the representative value is often trivial. – user881561 Apr 6 '18 at 19:59
  • Replacing blanks with "N/A" isn't necessarily an improvement. Whatever is in the cell can be handled by filtering or testing. You may be creating an unnecessary step for yourself that doesn't make analysis any easier. – fixer1234 Apr 6 '18 at 23:48
  • JOhn , what do you mean by replacing missing cells? And one more you are suppose to replace blank Cells with "N/A" ! Don't you think Title of OP is different to the issue,, Brother,, do some corrections first !! – Rajesh S Apr 7 '18 at 9:33

The fastest and easiest approach is to use Excel's built-in Go-To functionality.

  1. Select the range that you need to fill (don't select the whole column though!)
  2. In the ribbon, Home > Find & Select > Go To Special
  3. Select Blanks: the empty cells in the range will be selected
  4. Press F2 to edit the content of one of the cells (the others will be greyed out)
  5. Write N/A and press CTRL + Enter

All empty cells should now contain N/A.

Note: if you meant error #N/A, not the text N/A, then you should write =NA() instead.

You can also summon this window by pressing F5, and then click on Special.

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In a separate (preferably adjacent) column, paste this formula into the cell in the same row as the first cell of the your data column:


Replacing both "A1"s with the reference to aforementioned first cell. Drag the formula down (which should update the relative reference). Newly-created column should appear as intended, then simply copy that column, paste over original column (Right-click, Paste Special, select Values), delete the new column.

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