# How to Use IF Function in Excel – Benefits and Examples

The IF function in Excel tests a given condition and returns one value if the condition is true and a different value if the condition is false. In this post, we will guide you on how to use an IF Function in Excel with benefits and examples.

For example, if a student’s marks are more than 40/100, then the return value will be pass and if the student’s marks are less than 40/100, then the return value will be fail.

An IF function can be used alone, or several can even be used together in a formula. If there is more than one IF statement in a formula, they are known as Nested IF statements.

The IF function is not limited to numbers. You can use it to test text and even errors. Further, any mathematical operator supported by Excel can be used with an IF function.

### Benefits of Using the IF Function in Excel

Here are some benefits of using the IF statement in Excel:

• Conditional formatting: The IF statement can apply conditional formatting to cells based on certain conditions. For example, you can highlight cells with values greater than a specific number or cells with a particular text.
• Custom calculations: You can use the IF statement to perform custom calculations based on certain conditions. For example, you can calculate employee bonuses based on their performance or taxes based on income brackets.
• Error checking: The IF statement can be used to check for errors in your data and display custom error messages. For example, you can use the IF statement to check if a cell contains a valid date or if a formula returns an error.
• Data validation: You can use the IF statement to validate data and display custom messages if the data does not meet specific criteria. For example, you can use the IF statement to check if a value is within a certain range or meets a specific format.
• Dynamic formulas: The IF statement can be combined with other Excel functions to create dynamic formulas that adjust based on certain conditions. For example, you can use the IF statement with the SUM function to calculate the total sales for a specific region or product.

Related: How to use a Formula in Excel ## How to Use IF Function in Excel – Benefits and Examples

To use the IF Function, the following format needs to be used:

`=IF(logical_test, value_if_true, value_if_false)`

The above format has three main components:

• The test or condition which is denoted by logical_test
• The result if the condition is met, which is denoted by value_if_true
• The result if the condition is not met is denoted by value_if_false

The following logical operators can be used with an IF function:

• = (equal to)
• > (greater than)
• >= (greater than or equal to)
• < (less than)
• <= (less than or equal to)
• (not equal to)

Here are some of the most common use cases of the IF function in Microsoft Excel:

### Use-Case #1 – To Test a Number.

Suppose we’re evaluating which students have passed and which have failed a course. The pass mark is 40. Let’s say our datasheet looks like this: To determine whether the argument is valid or not (whether the student has scored more than 40 or not), we can use the following formula:

`=IF(B2<40,"fail","pass")` Further, we can extend the IF function to the relevant cell range within the Status (Pass/Fail) column to see the result for each student, as done in the above picture.

### Use Case #2 – To Test Text

Continuing the example from above, suppose if a student has failed, then we want to give them a retest, and if they have passed, then we want to give them a certificate.

We can use the following formula:

`=IF(C2="fail","retest",IF(C2="pass","certificate"))`

In this formula, we have tested whether the text is “fail” or “pass” to deliver an output which is either “retest” or “certificate”, respectively. As you can see, we have used multiple IF functions in the formula. The IF statements can be used one after the other in this format.

Further, we can extend the formula to the relevant cell range within the ‘Result’ column to see the output for each student.

### Use Case #3 – To Compare Cells

Suppose you want to compare the values between two cells and get a conditional output in a third cell. For example, if you want your spreadsheet to show whether a student is better at math or language depending on the marks they have scored in their exam. In this case, we can use the following formula to see if a student scored higher in math or in the language (essentially, comparing the values in two different cells to deliver a conditional output):

`=IF(B2>C2,"Math","Language")` As you can see, it’s easy to compare one cell with another using any of the logical functions discussed above (=, etc.). The output can be a number or any text according to your need. Users can also use mathematical operations as part of their IF function formulas.

Conclusion

The Excel IF function can save much time when the dataset is large. Don’t forget to extend the formula to all the relevant cells, so you don’t have to keep re-entering the formula.

The Excel IF function is perfect for delivering a numerical output based on a given condition, a textual output based on a given condition, and an output based on comparing the value of two cells.