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How to Use the IF Statement in Google Sheets (With Examples)

November 28, 2023 496 views

Adopting IF statements in Google Sheets allows users to introduce logic and execute actions conditionally based on set criteria. This empowers automating tasks, solving problems efficiently, and enhancing productivity when working with spreadsheets. By comprehending the fundamental syntax and practical applications of IF statements, users can unlock the full potential of Google Sheets.

What is the IF Statement?

The IF statement is a built-in function in Google Sheets that allows testing a condition and returning different outputs based on the evaluation result. Its basic syntax is:

=IF(logical_test, value_if_true, value_if_false)

Where:

  • logical_test: The condition to evaluate returns either TRUE or FALSE.

  • value_if_true: The value to return if logical_test evaluates to TRUE.

  • value_if_false: The value to return if logical_test evaluates to FALSE.

The key benefit of IF statements is introducing logic into Google Sheets formulas. By checking conditions, users can:

- Display different values dynamically based on cell values

- Conditionally format cells

- Validate input data

- Flag errors or outliers

- Categorize and filter data

Overall, IF statements are essential for efficient data analysis, automation, and problem-solving in Google Sheets.

How to Use the IF Statement in Google Sheets

Using the IF statement in Google Sheets simply involves:

Step 1: Entering the basic syntax. Start by typing “=IF(“ in a cell.

Step 2: Adding the logical test. Enter a comparison between values, cell references, or expressions that produce a TRUE/FALSE output.

Examples:

- A1>10

- A1="Accepted"

- MONTH(TODAY())=12

Step 3: Adding output for TRUE. Enter the value, cell reference, or expression to return if logical test is TRUE.

Example: “Pass”

Step 4: Adding output for FALSE. Enter the alternative output when the logical test is FALSE.

Example: “Fail”

Step 5: Completing the syntax. End the IF statement by adding “)”.

The final formula checks if the value in cell A1 is greater than 8. If yes, it displays “Pass”, else, it displays “Fail”. This was the basic syntax. Now let’s see some practical examples of using IF statements in Google Sheets.

Example 1: Grade Calculator

We can create a simple grade calculator that assigns grades based on percentage scores using IF statement thresholds:

=IF(B3>=90,"A+",IF(B3>=80,"A",IF(B3>=70,"B+",IF(B3>=60,"B",IF(B3>=50,"C+",IF(B3<50,"f"))))))<>

This formula is a nested IF statement, which contains multiple IF statements nested inside each other. The formula works by checking the value of cell B3 and then returning a corresponding letter grade.

Example 2: Data classification

In this example, the IF statement checks the cell's value in column B, row 2. If the value is less than 18, the formula returns "Underage". If the value is 18 or greater, the formula returns "Adult".

Enter the following IF statement:

=IF(B2<18,>

Then, copy the formula down the rest of the column. This will apply the IF statement to each row in the table.

Tips for Using the IF Statement

Here are some useful tips when working with IF Statements:

Use the IF statement to check if a condition is true or false.

For example, you can use the IF statement to check if a cell is empty, if a number is greater than 10, or if a text value equals "yes".

Provide two values for the IF statement: one for if the condition is true and one for if the condition is false.

For example, if you are checking if a cell is empty, you could return the value "Please enter a value" if the cell is empty and return the value "Thank you" if the cell is not empty.

Use parentheses to group together complex expressions.

For example, if you are checking if a number is greater than 10 and less than 50, you would use the following formula:

IF(A2>10 AND A2<50,"yes","no")<>

Use the IFS function to check multiple conditions.

The IFS function is similar to the IF statement, but it can check multiple conditions and return a different value for each condition.

For example, you could use the following formula to check if a number is greater than 100, between 50 and 100, or less than 50:

IFS(A2>100,"A",A2>50,"B",A2<50,"c")<>

Use the IFERROR function to handle errors.

The IFERROR function is used to specify what should happen if the IF statement encounters an error.

For example, you could use the following formula to check if a cell is empty and return an error message if it is:

IFERROR(IF(A2="","Error","Not empty"),"Error")

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FAQs

Why is my if statement always returning false?

The issue is that the if statement checks the Copy-Item command's boolean value, which doesn't return anything by default. You can solve this by using the -PassThru parameter with Copy-Item, checking the $?, or wrapping it in Try {} Catch {} with -ErrorAction Stop.

Can you have an if statement inside a while statement?

Yes, you can have an if statement inside a while statement. In the provided code, there's an issue with the syntax. The else statement needs to be completed, causing a compilation error. You should either remove the else statement or complete it with the appropriate code block to fix it.

What is the difference between if and if-else statements?

The `if` statement executes code when a condition is true, while the `if-else` statement includes an alternative code block for when the condition is false.


Summary

The IF statement is a crucial tool for introducing logical operations into Google Sheets, which enables conditional formatting, calculations, filtering, and more based on specific criteria. This guide covered the fundamental syntax, structure, and examples of using the IF statement for solving real-world problems in Google Sheets using a step-by-step approach. Although Google Sheets offers excellent collaboration features, you may consider using WPS Office for better compatibility, privacy, and stability across all devices.

15 years of office industry experience, tech lover and copywriter. Follow me for product reviews, comparisons, and recommendations for new apps and software.