I would like to know if a cell is a date, a number, a string or what. It would help a lot, exactly what/how should be done with it.

I think, librecalc knows it, because it affects the behavior of the cells on many ways (for example, date fields are converted by the actually used date format). But I did not find anything, how could I extract this important info.

2 Answers 2


You should use the TYPE function which:

TYPE Returns the type of value, where 1 = number, 2 = text, 4 = Boolean value, 8 = formula, 16 = error value, 64 = array.

If an error occurs, the function returns a logical or numerical value.

Dates are stored as numbers, so a date returns the value of 1.

  • Thanks, that is nice! However, there is still a difference between "24576" and a date "1994-03-05", even if its backend representation is the same. I think your answer could be made much more helpful if there would be some way to know even that.
    – peterh
    Jan 14 at 15:30

An alternative to a bunch of other functions is available in CELL(...)

Now: =CELL("FORMAT",A1) or even =CELL("TYPE",A1)
... seems as an alternative to =TYPE(...)
Still with some idiosyncrasy though.

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