Excel IF OR function with formula examples

Svetlana Cheusheva by , updated on

The tutorial shows how to write an IF OR statement in Excel to check for various "this OR that" conditions.

IF is one of the most popular Excel functions and very useful on its own. Combined with the logical functions such as AND, OR, and NOT, the IF function has even more value because it allows testing multiple conditions in desired combinations. In this tutorial, we will focus on using IF-and-OR formula in Excel.

IF OR statement in Excel

To evaluate two or more conditions and return one result if any of the conditions is TRUE, and another result if all the conditions are FALSE, embed the OR function in the logical test of IF:

IF(OR(condition1, condition2,...), value_if_true, value_if_false)

In plain English, the formula's logic can be formulated as follows: If a cell is "this" OR "that", take one action, if not then do something else.

Here's is an example of the IF OR formula in the simplest form:

=IF(OR(B2="delivered", B2="paid"), "Closed", "Open")

What the formula says is this: If cell B2 contains "delivered" or "paid", mark the order as "Closed", otherwise "Open".
IF OR statement in Excel

In case you want to return nothing if the logical test evaluates to FALSE, include an empty string ("") in the last argument:

=IF(OR(B2="delivered", B2="paid"), "Closed", "")

The same formula can also be written in a more compact form using an array constant:

=IF(OR(B2={"delivered","paid"}), "Closed", "")
IF OR formula to return nothing if none of the conditions is met.

In case the last argument is omitted, the formula will display FALSE when none of the conditions is met.

Note. Please pay attention that an IF OR formula in Excel does not differentiate between lowercase and uppercase characters because the OR function is case-insensitive. In our case, "delivered", "Delivered", and "DELIVERED", are all deemed the same word. If you'd like to distinguish text case, wrap each argument of the OR function into EXACT as shown in this example.

Excel IF OR formula examples

Below you will find a few more examples of using Excel IF and OR functions together that will give you more ideas about what kind of logical tests you could run.

Formula 1. IF with multiple OR conditions

There is no specific limit to the number of OR conditions embedded into an IF formula as long as it is in compliance with the general limitations of Excel:

  • In Excel 2007 and higher, up to 255 arguments are allowed, with a total length not exceeding 8,192 characters.
  • In Excel 2003 and lower, you can use up to 30 arguments, and a total length shall not exceed 1,024 characters.

As an example, let's check columns A, B and C for blank cells, and return "Incomplete" if at least one of the 3 cells is blank. The task can be accomplished with the following IF OR function:

=IF(OR(A2="",B2="", C2=""),"Incomplete","")

And the result will look similar to this:
IF with multiple OR conditions

Formula 2. If a cell is this OR that, then calculate

Looking for a formula that can do something more complex than return a predefined text? Just nest another function or arithmetic equation in the value_if_true and/or value_if_false arguments of IF.

Say, you calculate the total amount for an order (Qty. multiplied by Unit price) and you want to apply the 10% discount if either of these conditions is met:

  • in B2 is greater than or equal to 10, or
  • Unit Price in C2 is greater than or equal to $5.

So, you use the OR function to check both conditions, and if the result is TRUE, decrease the total amount by 10% (B2*C2*0.9), otherwise return the full price (B2*C2):

=IF(OR(B2>=10, C2>=5), B2*C2*0.9, B2*C2)

Additionally, you could use the below formula to explicitly indicate the discounted orders:

=IF(OR(B2>=10, C2>=5),"Yes", "No")

The screenshot below shows both formulas in action:
If a cell is this OR that, then calculate

Formula 3. Case-sensitive IF OR formula

As already mentioned, the Excel OR function is case-insensitive by nature. However, your data might be case-sensitive and so you'd want to run case-sensitive OR tests. In this case, perform each individual logical test inside the EXACT function and nest those functions into the OR statement.

IF(OR(EXACT(cell,"condition1"), EXACT(cell,"condition2")), value_if_true, value_if_false)

In this example, let's find and mark the order IDs "AA-1" and "BB-1":

=IF(OR(EXACT(A2, "AA-1"), EXACT(A2, "BB-1")), "x", "")

As the result, only two orders IDs where the letters are all capital are marked with "x"; similar IDs such as "aa-1" or "Bb-1" are not flagged:
Case-sensitive IF OR formula

Formula 4. Nested IF OR statements in Excel

In situations when you want to test a few sets of OR criteria and return different values depending on the results of those tests, write an individual IF formula for each set of "this OR that" criteria, and nest those IF's into each other.

To demonstrate the concept, let's check the item names in column A and return "Fruit" for Apple or Orange and "Vegetable" for Tomato or Cucumber:

=IF(OR(A2="apple", A2="orange"), "Fruit", IF(OR(A2="tomato", A2="cucumber"), "Vegetable", ""))
Nested IF OR statement

For more information, please see Nested IF with OR/AND conditions.

Formula 5. IF AND OR statement

To evaluate various combinations of different conditions, you can do AND as well as OR logical tests within a single formula.

As an example, we are going to flag rows where the item in column A is either Apple or Orange and the quantity in column B is greater than 10:

=IF(AND(OR(A2="apple",A2="orange"), B2>10), "x", "")
IF AND OR to test various combinations of multiple conditions

For more information, please see Excel IF with multiple AND/OR conditions.

That's how you use IF and OR functions together. To have a closer look at the formulas discussed in this short tutorial, you are welcome to download our sample Excel IF OR workbook. I thank you for reading and hope to see you on our blog next week!