excel tip


The IF formula in Excel is denoted =IF(logical_test, value_if_true, value_if_false). This allows you to enter a text value into the cell "if" something else in your spreadsheet is true or false. For example, =IF(D2="Gryffindor","10","0") would award 10 points to cell D2 if that cell contained the word "Gryffindor." There are times when we want to know how many times a value appears in our spreadsheets. But there are also those times when we want to find the cells that contain those values, and input specific data next to it. We'll go back to Sprung's example for this one. If we want to award 10 points to everyone who belongs in the Gryffindor house, instead of manually typing in 10's next to each Gryffindor student's name, we'll use the IF-THEN formula to say: If the student is in Gryffindor, then he or she should get ten points.

  • The formula: IF(logical_test, value_if_true, value_if_false)

Logical_Test: The logical test is the "IF" part of the statement. In this case, the logic is D2="Gryffindor." Make sure your Logical_Test value is in quotation marks. Value_if_True: If the value is true -- that is, if the student lives in Gryffindor -- this value is the one that we want to be displayed. In this case, we want it to be the number 10, to indicate that the student was awarded the 10 points. Note: Only use quotation marks if you want the result to be text instead of a number. Value_if_False: If the value is false -- and the student does not live in Gryffindor -- we want the cell to show "0," for 0 points.

  • Formula in below example: =IF(D2="Gryffindor","10","0")