Remove Those Blanking (blank)s!

It took me a long while to fix this one (and a long time to search, because it’s a funny one to try to use boolean logic for) and I thought I would share because I’ve seen a score of folks out there looking for this.

If you have a pivot table with blank values in the row/column area instead of values, Excel automatically populates the cell with (blank). The word blank shows up in any cell that doesn’t have a value, but what if you don’t want all those ugly (blank) values showing up in your report?

If you’re pulling the data from an outside source, like a SQL server (in my case from the Project Server Reporting database) then you can’t just change the source data, so you seem pretty stuck.

My coworker and I came up with the following fix:

Select the entire sheet. Use conditional formatting to find all cells that contain the text (blank). Then for the format, go to “Number” and “Custom”. In the custom field, enter ;;;.  Apply the conditional formatting and those pesky (blank) values turn into real blanks. This even works when copying pasting the data into another sheet or application. And if the value changes the next time you refresh your data, the new data appears.


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