To allow only text in a cell, you can use data validation with a custom formula based on the ISTEXT function.

In the example shown, the data validation applied to C5:C9 is:


Generic formula



Data validation rules are triggered when a user adds or changes a cell value. Cell references in data validation formulas are relative to the upper left cell in the range selected when the validation rule is defined.

The ISTEXT function returns TRUE when a value is text and FALSE if not. As a result, all text input will pass validation, but numbers and formulas will fail validation.

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Dave Bruns

Hi - I'm Dave Bruns, and I run Exceljet with my wife, Lisa. Our goal is to help you work faster in Excel. We create short videos, and clear examples of formulas, functions, pivot tables, conditional formatting, and charts.