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!

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3,133 Responses to "Using IF function in Excel: formulas for numbers, text, dates, blank cells"

  1. Lillian Welsh says:

    How would I write the formula for if a range contains a value greater than 2, then true?

  2. Carla Quinn says:

    Hi,

    I'm trying to write a formula to say that if cell F4 says 'yes', to then remove the fill colour from cell E4. I am having trouble doing this. Can anyone do this? Thanks in advance :)

  3. Jyotiranjan says:

    I have two worksheet. i.e,Worksheet A and worksheet B. A11 of Worksheet A contains FR189X and B6 of Worksheet B is FR189. Likewise I have multiple rows in Worksheet B. I want to compare A11 of Worksheet A with column B of Worksheet B, if its equal then copy the value present on column F of Worksheet B into Worksheet A.

    I am using below codes and its working when A11 is same with B6.

    =IF(LEFT(A11,5)=[Book1.xlsx]Sheet1!$B$6,VLOOKUP(LEFT(A11,5),[Book1.xlsx]Sheet1!$B:$S,18,0),"")

    But its not working when I want to replace A11 of Worksheet A with B7 of Worksheet B. Can you please help?

  4. Christy says:

    Is there a way to automatically move a row to sheet 2 if a specific cell contained text?
    Cell that would contain a date or be blank is G2. If it contained text I'd want to move a2:h2 to sheet2. On sheet2 it would not need to be in any specific place.

  5. Dim says:

    I have a table with 5 columns, which each column has there own percentage of evaluation for example 25%-25%-25%-10%-15%.
    I want to create a formula that to look on each cell for each column the number and if it does't find number to take the percentage of that column and spread it to the other columns.

    25% 25% 25% 10% 15%
    1.00 0.73 0.45

    In this case it has to take the 25% and the 10% and spread it to the other columns and do the calculations again from the start so I will get the correct number.
    If I was going to do it by hand I will do the 35%/3 which 11.67% and add it on each column with data and then take the original data and multiply them with the result of the summary -

    0% 36.67% 36.67% 0% 26.67%

    Who can give a help with this?

  6. Joriz Empleo says:

    Please help me.. I HAVE 2 CONCERNS
    1. I have a column of "Stock Quantity". i want the "Stock Quantity"automatically decreases when i insert a data in my delivery sheets. then,

    2. From my "Stock Quantity" let say i have 1000 stocks, the "REORDER LEVEL is 2,500. i want the row highlighted into color red if the 'REORDER LEVEL IS GREATER THAN THE STOCK QUANTITY'. what formula should i use?

    Thank you..

    • INDRA says:

      i like to share my view here, if its use full i feel hapy

      For 2) conditional formating, then Highlight cell rules, then greater than option not required formle for RED colour

      For 1) In same cell its not possible, need to add one more column for stock quantiry for ( opening or closing )then its possible

      =B5-Sheet2!B6,share your mail id i try to send excel sheet directly

  7. Joriz Empleo says:

    ...if the 'REORDER LEVEL IS GREATER THAN THE STOCK QUANTITY'. what formula should i use?

    Thank you..

  8. ignatius says:

    80% - 83% 1 mark
    84% - 87% 2 mark
    88% - 91% 3 mark
    92% - 95% 4 mark
    96% - 100% 4 mark
    help me to formula for this in excel

    • INDRA says:

      =IF(L29<80%,"0",IF(L29=80%,"1",IF(L29<=83%,"1",IF(L29=84%,"1",IF(L29<=87%,"2",IF(L29=88%,"3",IF(L29<=91%,"3",IF(L29=92%,"4",IF(L29<=100%,"4","0")))))))))

      Note: L29 is reference cell

      • Indra says:

        =IF(L29<80%," ",
        IF(L29=80%,"1Mark",IF(L29<=83%,"1Mark",IF(L29=84%,"2Mark",IF(L29<=87%,"2Mark",IF(L29=88%,"3Mark",IF(L29<=91%,"3Mark",IF(L29=92%,"4Mark",IF(L29<=100%,"4Mark","0")))))))))

  9. Murad says:

    Hi

    If you see my data table, variable INNO_PS has value (yes/no) only for 2011H1. I need the same value for 2010H2 in INNO_PS variable if ID is same. This is a large database, it is not possible to do manually. Please help to get Excel syntax for this purpose. Thanks

    ID WAVE INNO_PS
    5 2010H2
    6 2010H2
    6 2011H1 No
    11 2010H2
    13 2010H2
    17 2010H2
    17 2011H1 Yes
    23 2010H2
    23 2011H1 No
    25 2010H2
    25 2011H1 No
    26 2010H2
    27 2010H2
    27 2011H1 Yes
    28 2010H2
    29 2010H2
    32 2010H2
    32 2011H1 Yes
    40 2010H2
    40 2011H1 No

  10. Anthony says:

    I am stumped, I am trying to tie 3 columns together with column 1 having a drop down menu. I need to be able to use the first column to select a city and the following 2 columns auto-populate with amounts.

    (IF D4=Norfolk, then E4=94 and F4=55) is what I am trying to get to work. Is this even possible?

  11. Jo says:

    Hi
    What is the formula to allow an Yes/No response to the induction expiry.

    Induction expiry Permit to work
    16/03/2020 yes
    18/03/2018 no

    THanks

  12. Mohit says:

    I Need if date is less than 15 days then it will be the same month and if date is more than 15 days the it should be next month. Please help in find formula

  13. maborinorosso says:

    Hello Everyone,

    Trying to figure out how to show the value from a cell when doing IF.OR function.

    Here is my function (not working):
    =IF($P$14="";"";IF(OR($P14="PALLET";"$H14";"$L14"))

    The function should show empty if empty, but show the value of cell "H14" if P14=Pallet, while if different, show the value of cell "L14".

    Thank to all for the help.

  14. KHAN says:

    IF COLUMN A TEXT IS = "PCS" THEN COLUMN H MUTIPLY WITH COLUMN F
    IF COLUMN A TEXT IS = "CTN" THEN COLUMN H MUTIPLY WITH COLUMN E

    KINDLY HELP IF THIS FORMULA IS POSSIBLE THEN MAKE FORMULA PLEASE AND SHARE..

  15. Doug says:

    Khan:
    If the only two options are "PCS" or "CTN" then enter this in an empty cell:
    =IF(A24="PCS",F24*H24,E24*H24)

  16. Greg says:

    I have a set reference number in Colum A1 (254511556)

    Column B1 has the product name (metal screw)
    Column B2 has the product delivery date (DOD 15 Nov 2018)

    Is there a way to move value B2 to C1, if so can someone please help with the formula.

    thank you

  17. Ganesh Sadanand Aakunoori says:

    Requested Mam/Sir,

    Kindly send me the All If functions in a Excel sheet, so that i will practice it at home after the office

    Your's Hopefully,
    A.Ganesh

  18. Ross MacKay says:

    I am creating a time sheet. For each day I have three columns, Time (15 min breakdown of the day), Activity, and Time worked.

    I each created an IF function to fill the third column with a value 0.25 if the Activity cell has content.
    (ie; no content = I have not done any work. 0.25 represents the quarter of an hour i have worked).

    I had hoped to use a Sum function at the bottom of the third row to add up all the 0.25s to total my hours worked that day. However, the SUM function does not recognize the 0.25, generated by the IF function, as a number (cells are in number format but the 0.25 aligns to the left like text).

    Would appreciate some help with this puzzle :)

  19. Doug says:

    Ross:
    What's the IF formula you're using?

  20. Pricilla says:

    Hello all, I hope someone can shed some light on my issue.
    I am trying to calculate fuel consumption based on different MOVEMENTS of the ship from cell A1.
    Cell A1 will either be, LOAD, SEA, MANEUVER, DISCH. Each Movement will correspond to a different CELL with its corresponding fuel consumption rate. SEA corresponds to cell A20 (or 1.02). I tried the IF function, but could only manage to get one IF.
    ex A1 (SEA), B1=30 hours. FORMULA in C1, =IF(A1="SEA",(B1*A20)). This one works, but I cant seem to add multiple IF functions for LOAD, MANEUVER, DISCH, withouth it saying #value.
    Any help would be great! thank you

  21. hemant says:

    If(N2="YES",i should get a drop down list of (a b c d e ), if N2="NO", then i should get NA)
    how do i write this formula in excel

  22. Prasad J. says:

    Dear Sir/Mam,

    i am following your formula and suggestions, all is best to use in work,
    plzz can you help me????

    if there is 1 box included 144 pcs
    suppoz i have closing stock is 146 pcs it means 1 box n 2 pcs if there is 288 pcs it means 2 box or if there is 143 pcs it means 143 pcs
    which formula i use and how????
    plzz help me asap
    mail me as soon as possible.

    Thanku

  23. KHALEEL says:

    Seeliya Unit Price Al-Khaira Unit Price Madinah Unit Price
    1472.6 420
    15.5 40
    7.75 2
    450 24
    6.2 2.5
    9.3 3
    10.85 12

    i need the solution for the above work.

    This is the purchasing process. For one material, there are three offers available in quotation. I need the name of the supplier in a column who bidding the price in less.

    Thanks in advance.

  24. Samith says:

    Is this correct

    =IF(LEN(C3=10),RIGHT(C3,8),RIGHT(C3,7))

  25. SHEKHAR says:

    Please share me Excel Formula for following....

    I want difference in two different dates but if this difference is more than 1 day it should reflect other wise not

  26. sasou says:

    hi , how can i write the fact that if two countries use the same Currency 'euro' for exemple , 1 otherwise 0 ?
    waiting for your response

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