When you really get to know the advanced functions in Microsoft Excel, one function that you will no doubt begin to use frequently is the IF function. In automating your calculations and data manipulation, the IF function will give you some of the same features that professional developers often use to design programs. In other words, you will essentially use If…then logic statements to build powerful processes that solve your real-life business problems.
If you would like to begin learning this and other advanced features of Excel, a good place to start is an advanced online course in Excel. In this guide, we will learn more about what the IF function does, how to use it, and how to get the most out of it by including it within larger formulas.
Background on the IF function
Like most of the functions you are familiar with
in Excel, the IF function delivers an output to a single cell, as opposed to a range of cells (as would be the case for an array function). In using it to process multiple entries throughout a spreadsheet, you construct it for a single cell and then copy it down to additional cells in a range.
In essence, the function processes a logical test and delivers a specified value based on whether that test is true or false. This guide will go on to explain what that means in greater detail.
Creating an if function
The syntax of an IF function is pretty simple, and really only becomes more complex when you begin to string functions together. In a simple form, the structure is this:
=IF(Logical Test, Value if True, Value if False)
And here is an example to show it in context.