How to Use Airtable Blank Formulas to Detect Empty Fields

September 25, 2023 1.3K views

Every spreadsheet tool possesses the capability to detect the presence or absence of data in fields, and Airtable is no exception. Like its counterparts, Airtable offers a range of techniques to uncover and address empty fields. In this article, we will delve into these methods where Airtable formula is empty, providing you with insights on how to effectively manage and utilize them within Airtable's versatile platform.

What are the Airtable Formulas for checking Empty Fields?

Airtable is a versatile tool that can be used for a wide range of functions, from project management to data tracking and more. It provides users with the flexibility to organize and manage their data in a highly customizable manner. However, when working with data, it's essential to know how to handle empty or blank fields effectively. In Airtable, there are two fundamental formulas you can use to check if the airtable formula is empty: BLANK() Formula and IF() Statement.

How to Use Formulas to Identify Empty Fields?

BLANK() and IF() statements formula in Airtable, allows you to check for empty fields and create conditions based on whether a field is blank or not.

  • Using BLANK() to Identify Empty Fields

The BLANK() formula in Airtable checks if a field is empty or not. It's often used with the IF() function to take actions when a field is not empty. For example, you can highlight tasks without due dates or filter records without assigned team members.

Step 1: Create a new field if it doesn't exist by clicking the "+" icon in the fields tab.

Step 2: Assign a clear field name for easy identification and select "Formula" in the field type box.

Step 3: Click on the Formula tab and input the following formula:

IF({Sales Volume} = BLANK() , "Sales Volume is empty", "Sales Volume has some value in it")

Ensure you replace "Sales Volume" with the actual field name you want to check for empty values.

Step 4: Click "Create field" to execute the function and see the results.

While the process is straightforward, be aware that the syntax may be different from widely used spreadsheet programs, which may require some adjustment.


If you want to hide the formula field, simply click on the "Hide field" option in the toolbar and use the toggle bar beside the Formula field to conceal it.

  • Using IF() Statements for Empty Fields

The IF() statement in Airtable is a versatile formula that goes beyond checking for empty fields. It allows you to set dynamic conditions, including actions when a field is blank. For example, you can calculate values based on specific criteria or return "Incomplete" if a field is empty.

Using the IF statement alone, you can find blank cells in a field in Airtable. Here's a simplified guide:

Step 1: Create a new formula field in your project grid if needed.

Step 2: In the formula tab, use this formula:

IF({Sales Volume} = "", "Sales Volume is empty", "Sales Volume has some value in it")

Ensure you substitute "Sales Volume" with the precise field name you wish to examine for empty values.

Step 3: Select "Create field" to initiate the function and observe the outcomes.

Using the IF statement in Airtable to find blank cells is simple and user-friendly, suitable for both beginners and experienced users. It provides the benefit of swift results, customizable actions, and effortless conditional checks. However, new users might encounter a slight learning curve when grasping the formula syntax, and accurate field selection is essential for precise outcomes.

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Bonus Method- Using Conditional Formatting

Users can also identify blank cells in Airtable using conditional formatting with the color option. Here's a concise guide:

Step 1: Click on the color option in the toolbar and select "Condition".

Step 2: Click the arrow next to "Define a condition" to choose a color for the condition.

Step 3: To select blank cells, use the condition:

Where "Field name" "is empty".

Step 4: Add another condition similarly by clicking on “Add color”, but this time select "is not empty".

Step 5: Visit your grid to see the results of your conditional formatting, represented by color codes in the main field.

This method is straightforward and offers visual cues, making it easier to identify empty cells.

Why Can’t I Check Empty Cells Using Airtable Formulas?

Formulas power Airtable's functions, but errors like "Please check your formula text" can occur during formula creation. Troubleshooting is necessary since Airtable doesn't provide specific error details.

  • Ensure the correct use of parentheses around field names in your formula.

  • Missing quotation marks, though rare, can lead to errors, so double-check your formula for completeness.

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Q1. Is there a limit to the number of nested conditions in Airtable?

Airtable doesn't set strict limits on formula length or the number of IF statements you can use. Yet, for complex scenarios with numerous statements, consider using a custom script for a more straightforward approach.

Q2. How to Leverage Airtable Formulas?

Airtable formulas are powerful tools for computing values based on other fields or tables. They enable unique record identifiers, manage junction tables, and perform complex calculations. The IF() function allows conditional logic, while nested IF functions offer complex decision-making. Formulas can output different result types, enhance data presentation, and be combined with IF functions.

Maximize Your Productivity with Airtable Formulas

In this article, we've delved into a plethora of techniques within Airtable that empower you to swiftly detect and rectify the absence of data. It's crucial to address this issue where the Airtable formula is empty as it can disrupt your data flow and potentially wreak havoc on your formula executions. If you're seeking a streamlined experience, you may want to explore WPS Office, which offers a similar feature set but with enhanced ease of use. Download WPS Office for powerful document editing and organization.

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