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Long Text Area and Formulas

I am building a formula that tells me if certain fields are blank or not.  Basically, if a specific field is not blank it returns a value.  I have the syntax down "If(fieldname="",0,1)" but am running into challenges with long text areas.  I can't seem to insert them into the formula.  


Any ideas how i can check to see if a Long Text Area is blank?


I ran into this issue a year or two ago.  The basic respose is that you cannot use a Long Text Area in a formula field.  We ended up using a Text Area instead.