Using IF function in Excel: formulas for numbers, text, dates, blank cells

The IF function is one of the most popular and useful functions in Excel. You use an IF statement to ask Excel to test a condition and to return one value if the condition is met, and another value if the condition is not met.

In this tutorial, we are going to learn the syntax and common usages of Excel IF function, and then will have a closer look at formula examples that will hopefully prove helpful both to beginners and experienced Excel users.

Excel IF function - syntax and usage

The IF function is one of Excel's logical functions that evaluates a certain condition and returns the value you specify if the condition is TRUE, and another value if the condition is FALSE.

The syntax for Excel IF is as follows:

IF(logical_test, [value_if_true], [value_if_false])

As you see, the IF function has 3 arguments, but only the first one is obligatory, the other two are optional.

  • logical_test - a value or logical expression that can be either TRUE or FALSE. Required.In this argument, you can specify a text value, date, number, or any comparison operator.

    For example, your logical test can be expressed as or B1="sold", B1<12/1/2014, B1=10 or B1>10.

  • value_if_true - the value to return when the logical test evaluates to TRUE, i.e. if the condition is met. Optional.

    For example, the following formula will return the text "Good" if a value in cell B1 is greater than 10: =IF(B1>10, "Good")

  • value_if_false - the value to be returned if the logical test evaluates to FALSE, i.e. if the condition is not met. Optional.

    For example, if you add "Bad" as the third parameter to the above formula, it will return the text "Good" if a value in cell B1 is greater than 10, otherwise, it will return "Bad": =IF(B1>10, "Good", "Bad")

Excel IF function - formula example

Excel IF function - things to remember!

Though the last two parameters of the IF function are optional, your formula may produce unexpected results if you don't know the underlying logic beneath the hood.

  1. If value_if_true is omitted

    If the value_if_true argument is omitted in your Excel IF formula (i.e. there is only a comma following logical_test), the IF function returns zero (0) when the condition is met. Here is an example of such a formula: =IF(B1>10,, "Bad")

    In case you don't want your Excel IF statement to display any value when the condition is met, enter double quotes ("") in the second parameter, like this: =IF(B1>10, "", "Bad"). Technically, in this case the formula returns an empty string, which is invisible to the user but perceivable to other Excel functions.

    The following screenshot demonstrates the above approaches in action, and the second one seems to be more sensible:
    IF formulas with the value_if_true argument omitted

  2. If value_if_false is omitted

    If you don't care what happens when the specified condition is not met, you can omit the 3rd parameter in your Excel IF formulas, which will result in the following.

    If the logical test evaluates to FALSE and the value_if_false parameter is omitted (there is just a closing bracket after the value_if_true argument), the IF function returns the logical value FALSE. It's a bit unexpected, isn't it? Here is an example of such a formula: =IF(B1>10, "Good")

    Putting a comma after the value_if_true argument forces your IF statement to return 0, which doesn't make much sense either: =IF(B1>10, "Good",)

    And again, the most reasonable approach is to put "" in the third argument, in this case you will have empty cells when the condition is not met: =IF(B1>10, "Good", "")
    IF formulas with the value_if_false argument omitted

  3. Get the IF function to display logical values TRUE or FALSE

    For your Excel IF formula to display the logical values TRUE and FALSE when the specified condition is met and not met, respectively, type TRUE in the value_if_true argument. The value_if_false parameter can be FALSE or omitted. Here's a formula example:

    =IF(B1>10, TRUE, FALSE)
    or
    =IF(B1>10, TRUE)
    an example of the IF function that displays logical values TRUE or FALSE

    Note. For your Excel IF statement to return TRUE and FALSE as the logical values (Boolean values) that other Excel formulas can recognize, make sure you don't enclose them in double quotes. A visual indication of a Boolean is middle align in a cell, as you see in the screenshot above.

    If you want "TRUE" and "FALSE" to be usual text values, enclose them in "double quotes". In this case, the returned values will be aligned left and formatted as General. No Excel formula will recognize such "TRUE" and "FALSE" text as logical values.

  4. IF statement to perform a math operation and return a result

    Instead of returning certain values, you can get your IF formula to test the specified condition, perform a corresponding math operation and return a value based on the result. You do this by using arithmetic operators or other Excel functions in the value_if_true and /or value_if_false arguments. Here are just a couple of formula examples:

    Example 1: =IF(A1>B1, C3*10, C3*5)

    The formula compares the values in cells A1 and B1, and if A1 is greater than B1, it multiplies the value in cell C3 by 10, by 5 otherwise.

    Example 2: =IF(A1<>B1, SUM(A1:D1), "")

    The formula compares the values in cells A1 and B1, and if A1 is not equal to B1, the formula returns the sum of values in cells A1:D1, an empty string otherwise.

Using the IF function in Excel - formula examples

Now that you are familiar with the Excel IF function's syntax, let's look at some formula examples and learn how to use IF as a worksheet function in Excel.

Excel IF statement for numbers: greater than, less than, equal to

The use of the IF function with numeric values is based on using different comparison operators to express your conditions. You will find the full list of logical operators illustrated with formula examples in the table below.

Condition Operator Formula Example Description
Greater than > =IF(A2>5, "OK",) If the number in cell A2 is greater than 5, the formula returns "OK"; otherwise 0 is returned.
Less than < =IF(A2<5, "OK", "") If the number in cell A2 is less than 5, the formula returns "OK"; an empty string otherwise.
Equal to = =IF(A2=5, "OK", "Wrong number") If the number in cell A2 is equal to 5, the formula returns "OK"; otherwise the function displays "Wrong number".
Not equal to <> =IF(A2<>5, "Wrong number", "OK") If the number in cell A2 is not equal to 5, the formula returns "Wrong number "; otherwise - "OK".
Greater than or equal to >= =IF(A2>=5, "OK", "Poor") If the number in cell A2 is greater than or equal to 5, the formula returns "OK"; otherwise - "Poor".
Less than or equal to <= =IF(A2<=5, "OK", "") If the number in cell A2 is less than or equal to 5, the formula returns "OK"; an empty string otherwise.

The screenshot below demonstrates the IF formula with the "Greater than or equal to" logical operator in action:
the IF formula with the

Excel IF function examples for text values

Generally, you write an Excel if statement with text using either "equal to" or "not equal to" operator, as demonstrated in a couple of IF examples that follow.

Example 1. Case-insensitive IF formula for text values

Like the overwhelming majority of Excel functions, IF is case-insensitive by default. What it means for you is that logical tests for text values do not recognize case in usual IF formulas.

For example, the following IF formula returns either "Yes" or "No" based on the "Delivery Status" (column C):

=IF(C2="delivered", "No", "Yes")

Translated into the plain English, the formula tells Excel to return "No" if a cell in column C contains the word "Delivered", otherwise return "Yes". At that, it does not really matter how you type the word "Delivered" in the logical_test argument - "delivered", "Delivered", or "DELIVERED". Nor does it matter whether the word "Delivered" is in lowercase or uppercase in the source table, as illustrated in the screenshot below.
Case-insensitive IF formula for text values

Another way to achieve exactly the same result is to use the "not equal to" operator and swap the value_if_true and value_if_false arguments:

=IF(C2<>"delivered", "Yes", "No")

Example 2. Case-sensitive IF formula for text values

If you want a case-sensitive logical test, use the IF function in combination with EXACT that compares two text strings and returns TRUE if the strings are exactly the same, otherwise it returns FALSE. The EXACT functions is case-sensitive, though it ignores formatting differences.

You use IF with EXACT in this way:

=IF(EXACT(C2,"DELIVERED"), "No", "Yes")

Where C is the column to which your logical test applies and "DELIVERED" is the case-sensitive text value that needs to be matched exactly.
Case-sensitive IF formula for text values

Naturally, you can also use a cell reference rather than a text value in the 2nd argument of the EXACT function, if you want to.

Note. When using text values as parameters for your IF formulas, remember to always enclose them in "double quotes".

Example 3. Excel if statement for text with partial match

If you want to base your condition on a partial match rather than exact match, an immediate solution that comes to mind is using wildcard characters (* or ?) in the logical_test argument. However, this simple and obvious approach won't work. Many Excel functions accept wildcards, but regrettably IF is not one of them.

A solution is to use IF in combination with ISNUMBER and SEARCH (case-insensitive) or FIND (case-sensitive) functions.

For example, if No action is required both for "Delivered" and "Out for delivery" items, the following formula will work a treat:

=IF(ISNUMBER(SEARCH("deliv",C2)), "No", "Yes")
IF formula for text values with partial match

We've used the SEARCH function in the above formula since a case-insensitive match suits better for our data. If you want a case-sensitive match, simply replace SEARCH with FIND in this way:

=IF(ISNUMBER(FIND("text", where to search)), value_if_true, value_if_false)

Excel IF formula examples for dates

At first sight, it may seem that IF formulas for dates are identical to IF statements for numeric and text values that we've just discussed. Regrettably, it is not so.

Unlike many other Excel functions, IF cannot recognize dates and interprets them as mere text strings, which is why you cannot express your logical test simply as >"11/19/2014" or >11/19/2014. Neither of the above arguments is correct, alas.

Example 1. IF formulas for dates with DATEVALUE function

To make the Excel IF function recognize a date in your logical test as a date, you have to wrap it in the DATEVALUE function, like this DATEVALUE("11/19/2014"). The complete IF formula may take the following shape:

=IF(C2<DATEVALUE("11/19/2014"), "Completed", "Coming soon")

As illustrated in the screenshot below, this IF formula evaluates the dates in column C and returns "Completed" if a game was played before Nov-11. Otherwise, the formula returns "Coming soon".
An example of the IF formula with the DATEVALUE function

Example 2. IF formulas with TODAY() function

In case you base your condition on the current date, you can use the TODAY() function in the logical_test argument of your IF formula. For example:

=IF(C2<DATEVALUE("11/19/2014"), "Completed", "Coming soon")

Naturally, the Excel IF function can understand more complex logical tests, as demonstrated in the next example.

Example 3. Advanced IF formulas for future and past dates

Suppose, you want to mark only the dates that occur in more than 30 days from now. In this case, you can express the logical_test argument as A2-TODAY()>30. The complete IF formula may be as follows:

=IF(A2-TODAY()>30, "Future date", "")

To point out past dates that occurred more than 30 days ago, you can use the following IF formula:

=IF(TODAY()-A2>30, "Past date", "")
Advanced IF formulas for future and past dates

If you want to have both indications in one column, you will need to use a nested IF function like this:

=IF(A2-TODAY()>30, "Future date", IF(TODAY()-A2>30, "Past date", ""))
A nested IF formula for dates

Excel IF examples for blank, non-blank cells

If you want to somehow mark your data based on a certain cell(s) being empty or not empty, you can either:

  • Use the Excel IF function in conjunction with ISBLANK, or
  • Use the logical expressions ="" (equal to blank) or <>"" (not equal to blank).

The table below explains the difference between these two approaches and provides formula example.

Logical test Description Formula Example
Blank cells ="" Evaluates to TRUE if a specified cell is visually empty, including cells with zero length strings.

Otherwise, evaluates to FALSE.

=IF(A1="", 0, 1)

Returns 0 if A1 is visually blank. Otherwise returns 1.

If A1 contains an empty string, the formula returns 0.

ISBLANK() Evaluates to TRUE is a specified cell contains absolutely nothing - no formula, no empty string returned by some other formula.

Otherwise, evaluates to FALSE.

=IF(ISBLANK(A1), 0, 1)

Returns the results identical to the above formula but treats cells with zero length strings as non-blank cells.

That is, if A1 contains an empty string, the formula returns 1.

Non-blank cells <>"" Evaluates to TRUE if a specified cell contains some data. Otherwise, evaluates to FALSE.

Cells with zero length strings are considered blank.

=IF(A1<>"", 1, 0)

Returns 1 if A1 is non-blank; otherwise returns 0.

If A1 contains an empty string, the formula returns 0.

ISBLANK()=FALSE Evaluates to TRUE if a specified cell is not empty. Otherwise, evaluates to FALSE.

Cells with zero length strings are considered non-blank.

=IF(ISBLANK(A1)=FALSE, 0, 1)

Works the same as the above formula, but returns 1 if A1 contains an empty string.

The following example demonstrates blank / non-blank logical test in action.

Suppose, you have a date in column C only if a corresponding game (column B) was played. Then, you can use either of the following IF formulas to mark completed games:

=IF($C2<>"", "Completed", "")

=IF(ISBLANK($C2)=FALSE, "Completed", "")

Since there are no zero-length strings in our table, both formulas will return identical results:
The IF formula for blank / non-blank cells

Hopefully, the above examples have helped you understand the general logic of the IF function. In practice, however, you would often want a single IF formula to check multiple conditions, and our next article will show you how to tackle this task. In addition, we will also explore nested IF functions, array IF formulas, IFEFFOR and IFNA functions and more. Please stay tuned and thank you for reading!

You may also be interested in:

3,254 Responses to "Using IF function in Excel: formulas for numbers, text, dates, blank cells"

  1. Stan says:

    In column A (there are 4 sentence choices: I want an Apple, I don't like Bananas, I love coconuts, I need water)

    A1 I want an Apple
    A2 I don't like Bananas
    A3 I love coconuts
    A4 I need water

    In column B, I want to use a function to check column A and search for partial text, then past a value in cell. For example, in B1, checks for 4 possible conditions in A1, check for "ppl" and copy the value "Yes" to cell in B1 OR check for "Ban" and copy the value "No" to cell B1 OR check for "coco" and copy the value to B1 OR check for "wat" and copy the value "end" to B1.

    What function should I use?

  2. Parmanand Naraindas Jethani says:

    StockName CurrentQty InvestmentPrice CurrentMarketPrice HoldingValue MarketValue
     BGRENERGY  14  483.00   58.25   6762.00  815.50
     BRIGADE  29  390.00   229.25   11310.00  6648.25
     BSE   18  806.00   610.45   14508.00  11132.10
     COALINDIA  100  232.75   250.50  23275.00  25050.00
     DIXON   8  1766.00  2353.95  14128.00  18831.60
     DLF  5  932.52   174.30   4662.60  871.50
     EDL   69  371.70   6.80  25647.30   469.20
     ENDURANCE  30  472.00   1156.20  14160.00  34686.00
     ERIS  24  603.00  632.75   14472.00  15186.00
     GICRE  32  433.50  244.60  13872.00  7827.20
      Please sum col E & F How to a cetain text numbers

  3. TAHIRULHAQ says:

    COLUMN A COLUMN B COLUMN C RESULT

    OTE3‐L1‐IM‐300992‐01 12-Apr COMPLETE
    OTE3‐L1‐IM‐300992‐01 13-Apr COMPLETE
    OTE3‐L1‐IM‐300992‐02 13-Apr INCOMPLETE
    OTE3‐L1‐IM‐300992‐02 INCOMPLETE
    OTE3‐L1‐IM‐300992‐03 13-Apr INCOMPLETE
    OTE3‐L1‐IM‐300992‐03 INCOMPLETE
    OTE3‐L1‐IM‐300992‐03 INCOMPLETE
    OTE3‐L1‐IM‐300992‐03 INCOMPLETE
    I need a result of complete or incomplete when look at the

  4. Eric says:

    I am trying to do travel rates based on where an employee visits. I would like to create a formula that includes 50 states and top cities within those states.
    So if John travels to Washington State he choose WA from a drop down box. From there in the next cell cities will become available such as Seattle, Tacoma and Spokane. Based on which city John chooses travel rates will appear in the next cells such as acceptable hotel rates, breakfast, lunch and dinner. If John chooses AZ then Flagstaff, Phoenix, Sedona and Tucson appear...makes sense? Possible?

    Hope anyone can help

  5. IK says:

    In excel there was 8 sheets, on that 1 sheet is the master sheet
    If we enter any email id in column A in any of the 8 sheets it has to auto reflect into Master sheet on another below.
    Ex. in sheet 2 I have entered abc@gmail.com
    in sheet 3 I have entered bcd@gmail.com
    in sheet 7 I have entered jkq@gmail.com
    result should be entered mail auto reflect into master sheet one another below

    Please help in this regard

  6. Kim H says:

    Hi I am trying to use the if function but I am stumped.
    I need me S/Sheet to be blank is 0, if between 1 and 28 show yes and higher than 28 No.
    My current formula is =IF((AND(F2>=1, F2<=28)), "Yes", "No") but the everything with a 0 gets a no when I need it blank
    HELP PLEASE xx

  7. Perry Davies says:

    Hello I'm trying to write an IF statement that results in showing two conditions when met. For example, I input -5 in the reference cell I want the IF statement to punch out 5 below or if the number is positive to punch out 5 above in the same cell.

  8. Scott Wallace Adams says:

    I am trying to write an equation that will do the following:
    If the value for B6*0.25 is less than 1,000, I want to display 1,000, and then if the value of B6*0.25 is greater than 1,000, I want it to print that value. Below is my failed attempt. Thank you for your help.
    =IF(B6*0.251000,B6*0.25))

  9. shaik kaleem says:

    Hello Team
    How to find the TP value with IF condition by using TYPE.
    TYPE ENTRY PRICE TP
    Sell 1.34365 1.34165
    Buy 0.69792 0.69992
    Please help me with this.

    Thanks

  10. Bogdan says:

    Hello,
    I'm trying to condition a cell (A) color based on 4 other cells (B,C,D,E).
    The first one is a case number and the 4 cells are attempts to reach a customer via phone.
    So, if a first call is made and the customer is not reached, B cell will contain text, A cell will change to yellow.
    When a second call attempt will be made, C cell will contain text and A cell will need to change to orange.
    After the third call attempt is made, D cell will contain text and A cell will need to change to red.
    If the customer is reached at any given point (1st,2nd,3rd attempt), E cell will change to value (Y) and A cell will need to change to green.
    Can you help with this?
    Thank you

  11. Dhenz says:

    Hi There,
    Please help me to come up with the formula i needed.
    In a column, if there is a value encoded the result must be 8 or 0 only.
    How is it?

    Thanks a lot.

  12. Jonathan says:

    Hi All
    Can you please help me with a formula? I need to create a monthly report.
    Reporting period is from 26th previous month to 25th of the current month for example for May 2019 reporting commence from 26th April to 25th May.
    Can you help? Many thanks in advance.
    Jonathan

  13. Pradeep mahajan says:

    How to enter some number in another cell according to ented number in first cell. ie. If 1 is enterd in column 1st then atomatically 300 (rate per kg) is enterd in money column. Please answer quickly. Thankyou for readin and answering me.

  14. K Fish says:

    I am using an IFS function to write a color ("Red", "Yellow", or "Green") in cell F4. It is dependent upon the results (a number between 1 & 5) in another cell (AA4). If I type a number into the cell AA4, the formula yields the appropriate color. However, when I use a formula (Average) to generate the number, it does not work. I get an error message (#N/A in Excel and #Name? in Sheets). How do I get the IFS function to recognize the results in the cell instead of the formula?

    • K Fish says:

      Problem solved. It was a rounding issue. Even though I could only see a 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5, the underlying numbers were 1.??, 2.??, etc., so the IF statements were not true. I used the Round function in the Average formula and solved the problem.

  15. Dan says:

    I am trying to write a formula to distinguish between if a serial # starts with a Letter or a Number then multiply by two different % rates . Any help would be great.

  16. SANDIP JHA says:

    hello iam sandip mere ko aisa formate make karna he exm:-90 he to 75 ke above 10 ana chahiye 81 ke above 15 86 ke above 20 91 ke above 25 ager 75 ke below rahega to 0 ana chiye mene ye formate banaya he mager ye kam nahi kar rha he,
    =IF(C4>=76,"10",IF(C4>=81,"15",IF(C4>=86,"20",IF(C4>=91,"25",IF(C4<=75,"0")))))
    please help me my whatsapp no.8669800963

  17. mapine says:

    I need a formula to calculate a value from a group of numbers in a column:
    Column A - has dollar figures
    Column B - has dates WHEN the amount in column A is paid.
    I want to calculate the unpaid amounts from column A when column B doesn't have a date entered or a blank cell.

  18. ambar says:

    hi please cou;d you tell me where I am going wrong:
    I need a formula for the following:
    column O2 contains a due date, column P2 contains completed status of Yes or No. I need to add a status of overdue or Due within 90 days.
    so if the date in column O2 is over 90 days from today then the status is "Overdue" but if the date in column O2 is within 90 days from today then the status needs to be "Due within 90 days"

  19. Maria says:

    WHAT FORMULA CAN I use to look for the VALUE in cell 'A2" is equal to CELL VALUE IN "I14" in a different sheet - but I want it to do a search in multiple sheets (75 to be exact) then SEARCH IN MULTIPLE SHEETS and if there is a match to "A2" return back WITH THE VALUE IN CELL L34 of the sheet were the value was found.

  20. Pradeep Sharma says:

    I m using if conditions below
    =If(A1<=1000,"0",IF(A2001,"80")))

    BUT WHEN I USE SUN FUNCTION TO GRAND TOTAL, AMOUNT SHOWING ONLY '0'

    KINDLY ADVISE AND HELP PLEASE

  21. Maria says:

    WHAT FORMULA CAN I use to look for the VALUE in cell "A2" is equal to CELL VALUE IN "I14" in a different sheet - but I want it to do a search in multiple sheets (75 to be exact) then SEARCH IN MULTIPLE SHEETS and if there is a match to "A2" return back WITH THE VALUE IN CELL "L34" of the sheet were the value was found.

  22. Meca says:

    Hello,

    I need to search two separate text in one column to return "Yes" of "No". What am I doing wrong I this formula?
    IF(AND(ISNUMBER(SEARCH("welcome",F2)("Good",F2)),F3>10),"Yes","No")

  23. France says:

    I need a formula that would copy the text entered in cell C to cel D only when cell A or B is marked with 'x'? Blank entries in cell C would also be skipped is that possible?

  24. Al says:

    Hi
    I'm trying to write a formula to read every cell in each row and replace the value if its bigger than 1 with the first value in the row ( each row has a different value in the first cell ) , should i use conditional formatting ? if yes how should i write the formula ?

  25. Brooks says:

    Wow. This is exactly what I've been looking for. The "Excel if statement for text with partial match" is what I have been trying to do for a day now at work and finally I found this. You made my life so much easier. Thank you!

Post a comment



Unfortunately, due to the volume of comments received we cannot guarantee that we will be able to give you a timely response. When posting a question, please be very clear and concise. We thank you for understanding!
Ultimate Suite 2018.5 for Excel
60+ professional tools for Excel 2019-2007 to do your daily work
Incredible product, even better tech support…AbleBits totally delivers!
Deborah Bryant
Anyone who works with Excel is sure to find their work made easier
Jackie Lee
The best spent money on software I've ever spent!
Patrick Raugh
Ablebits is a fantastic product - easy to use and so efficient.
Debra Celmer
Excel is at its best now
Annie C.
I don't know how to thank you enough for your Excel add-ins
Jennifer Morningstar
Anybody who experiences it, is bound to love it!
Kumar Nepa
AbleBits suite has really helped me when I was in a crunch!
Nelda Fink
I have enjoyed every bit of it and time am using it
Christian Onyekachi Nwosu
It's the best $100 we've ever spent!
Mike Cavanagh
I love the program, and I can't imagine using Excel without it!
Robert Madsen
One word… WOW!
Dave Brown
Love the products!
David Johnston
It is like having an expert at my shoulder helping me…
Linda Shakespeare
Your software really helps make my job easier
Jeannie C.
Thanks for a terrific product that is worth every single cent!
Dianne Young
I love your product
Brad Gibson
Awesome!!!
Sheila Blanchard