The IF function is very useful to "customize" the result of your logical test.
A logical test is the starting point of the comparison between 2 values or formulas.
In this article, we have present many situations where a logical test is necessary
But a logical test returns only TRUE or FALSE or 0 and 1 with this tricks. So to customise your result, you have to write your test in a IF function
The IF function
The IF function analyse a test and returns a custom result in the case when the test is TRUE and another result when the test is FALSE.
The IF function is build with 3 parameters
- The logical test
- The result if the test is TRUE
- The result if the test is FALSE
=IF(test, test is TRUE, test is FALSE)
Example: Check the invoices
We want to check if the money received by your company is the same as the value of the invoices. Everything looks correct here but let's have a closer look 🧐.
Let's make a test to check if the amount is the same for each rows.
Does the amount of the invoice equal the amount paid?
The test to compare the 2 amounts is very simple to create. We have to compare if the value in column B equal the amount in column C. The test is:
And when you copy this test to the others cells you have this result.
- When the test is TRUE, it's because the amount is the same in both cells
- When the test is FALSE, the amount is not equal
Customize the result with a text
Leave TRUE or FALSE is not user friendly (indeed). So we will customise the result of the test. This is where the IF function will help us.
- First parameter, the same test
- Second parameter, the word "OK"
- Third result, the word "Wrong amount"
Optional: Reverse the test
There is not only one way to write a test.
If you prefer to test if the amount between the 2 cells is different (symbol <>), you must change the order of the result accordingly.
The result is obviously the same 😉
Why the function IF returns FALSE?
But, we don't need to write a message when it's "Ok" to have to many informations in our document. Let's remove the third argument then.
How to return a result "empty"?
The mistake in the previous step it's because the IF function has no indication when the result is FALSE. We have forgotten the 3rd arguments of the function 😱😱😱
If you want to return an empty result with the test is FALSE, you must fill the third parameter with "" (2 double quotes without space between).
Return the Gap between the amounts
To finish, we can enhanced our formula. Instead of writing "Wrong amount" we prefer to display the difference between the amount received and the amount of the invoice 🤩🤩🤩
The formula to returns the difference it's this simple function (B2-C2). So, we can write the IF function like this now.
NOW it's easy to analyze the result. In column D, we have the difference only for the case when the 2 values are not equal. That's what we want 😉😃