"How To Excel" Mini-Tutorials
by TheExcelAddict.com
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How To Use Excel's IF Function


Most Excel users have heard of and seen IF functions used in worksheets, but a large number of these users find the IF function confusing.

The IF function is one of the most used worksheet functions in Excel and, contrary to what you may think, the IF function is pretty easy to understand. It is so versatile that, once you learn how to use it, you will think of many, many places to use it. It will open up many new opportunities for you as you develop your workbooks.

The purpose of the IF function is to put one of two values in a cell based upon a condition.

There are four parts to the IF function.

=IF(Condition, ValueIfTrue, ValueIfFalse)

  1. The function name
  2. The condition to test (must evaluate to either TRUE or FALSE)
  3. The value to put in the cell if the condition evaluates to TRUE
  4. The value to put in the cell if the condition evaluates to FALSE
Note that the value returned can be either text, a number, a formula, or a reference to another cell or cells. Text must be in quotes.

In plain English the function says, If the condition is True, put the value of ValueIfTrue in the cell, otherwise put the value of ValueIfFalse in the cell.

Let's look at an easy-to-understand example.

Column A contains student names. Column B contains student grades. In column C we will add a formula that will tell if the student passed or failed.

Here's the formula we would use: =IF(B2<50,"Failed", "Passed")

If the grade in cell B2 is less than 50, put the word Failed in cell C2, otherwise put the word Passed in cell C2.

This is just a basic explanation of the IF function. IF is a very powerful function that every Excel user should have at their disposal. In future tips we will look further at some other more advanced uses of the IF function.


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