Using the IF Worksheet Function

Excel provides a wide range of worksheet functions you can use. One of the most versatile worksheet functions is IF. This function allows you to test some condition, and then use a value if the condition is true or a different value if the condition is false. For instance, consider the following example:

=IF(A2<C2,"Too low","")

Notice that IF requires three arguments, each separated by commas. The first argument (in this example, A2<C2) is the conditional test. If the test proves true, then the second argument (in this case, the test string "Too low") is used. If the test proves false, then the third argument (in this case, an empty string) is used. In other words, if the value in cell A2 is lower than the value in cell C2, then this formula returns the string "Too low." Otherwise, it returns an empty string.

You are not limited, of course, to returning strings in an IF function. You can return any value you want, including the values stored in other cells. For example:

=IF(A2<C2,B6-B7,43)

In this case, if A2 is less than C2, then the value derived by subtracting B7 from B6 is returned. If A2 is not less than C2, then the value 43 is returned.