The IF function is used to customize the result of a test.
If the test returns TRUE, you can return a specific result, like "Win" and if the test is FALSE, you can display in the cell "Lost".
The IF function
The IF function is build with 3 parameters
- The test
- The result if the test is TRUE
- The result if the test is FALSE
The IF function analyse a test and returns a result in the case the test is TRUE and another one when the test is FALSE
The first parameter of the IF function is a logical test. A logical test compares 2 data. You can have these possibilities:
But a logical test returns only TRUE or FALSE (or 0 and 1 with this tips and tricks). So to customize your result, you have to write your test in a IF function
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.
The test is very simple. We just 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
We can customized the result of the test with the function IF
- First parameter, the same test
- Second parameter, the word "OK"
- Third result, the word "Wrong amount"
Optional: Reverse the test
If you prefer to test if the amount between the 2 cells is different, you write your formula like this
The result is obviously the same 😉
Why the function returns FALSE?
If you write your function without the third parameter, there is no error.
But when the test is FALSE, the IF function doesn't know what to return because the third parameter is missing. So in that case, the function return the result of the test.
How to return a result "empty"?
If you don't want to return a result with the IF function, you must fill the third parameter with "" (2 double quotes without space between)
Return the result of a formula
Of course, return "Wrong amount" is not what we expect. 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
So, we can write or 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 😉😃