WHAT IS IT?
The IF function in Excel is a powerful tool that allows users to perform conditional logic in their spreadsheets. It allows users to test a condition and return one value if the condition is true and another value if the condition is false. This can be very useful in a variety of situations, such as:
Testing whether a cell meets certain criteria and applying a certain formatting or calculation if it does
Comparing data in different cells and returning a result based on the outcome of the comparison
Performing different calculations based on user input or other variables
Overall, the IF function is a valuable tool for adding dynamic behavior to Excel spreadsheets, allowing users to build more sophisticated and interactive worksheets.
HOW DO I USE IT?
An IF statement can have two results. So looking at the example formula:
says IF(C2 = Yes, then return a 1, otherwise return a 2). So if we wanted to return a value in a cell we can do this:
In the D2 cell were inputting the formula. We get the result 1 if "Yes", otherwise the result will be 2.
Lets use the formula in a bigger spreadsheet an accountant might use.
The formula above is being used to indicate if a specific amount in C2 is over budget on an accountants spreadsheet. There is a budgeted amount in the B column. We want to indicate if specific amounts are over limit in the D column. We are using this formula:
=IF(C2>B2,"Over Budget", "Within Budget")
Were using a > sign instead of = to compare cell C2 to B2. If the result is C2 is higher return "Over Budget", otherwise return "Within Budget".
WHEN IS IF FUNCTION USEFUL?
The IF function in Excel is useful in a variety of situations where you want to perform a logical test and return different results based on the outcome of the test. Some common examples include:
Conditional formatting: You can use the IF function to highlight cells that meet certain criteria, such as cells that contain values above a certain threshold or cells that are blank.
Data validation: You can use the IF function to check whether cells contain valid data and display an error message if the data is invalid.
Calculations: You can use the IF function to perform different calculations depending on the value of a cell. For example, you could use the IF function to calculate a commission based on different sales tiers.
Reporting: You can use the IF function to display different results depending on the value of a cell. For example, you could use the IF function to display a message if a cell is blank or to display a different message depending on the value of the cell.
Overall, the IF function is a versatile tool that can be used in many different contexts to perform logical tests and return different results based on the outcome of the test.
The Table Originals team