How to use the IF function in Excel

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Experience Level: Intermediate
Bob Flisser
Bob Flisser has authored many courses and books about Microsoft, Adobe and Apple products, and has been a computer trainer since the 1980s.
Many functions in Excel can make decisions. The most simple of these is the IF function: it returns a value depending on whether a condition you describe is true or false. Once you get the hang of using the IF function, you will find it easier to use Excel's many other decision-making functions.

Video Steps

1. Enter the following values to create a tax table:

Enter into L2: NJ tax
Enter into M2: 7%

2. Create a new header for column H:

Enter into H5: Tax

3. Enter the IF function:

Enter into H6: =IF(C6="NJ", G6*$M$2,0)
IF function in H6

4. Enter the formula:

Press Enter. The value is 0 because this customer is from Michigan.

5. Use AutoFill to copy this formula down the page:

Click back on H6.

6. Position the mouse pointer on the dot in the lower right corner of the cell so the mouse pointer becomes a crosshair.

AutoFill dot on cell

7. Double-click..

8. Scroll down the page.

9. Double-click H6.

This way, you can edit the formula.

9. Rewrite the formula so that the value-if-false (zero) is just a set of empty quotation marks.

Rewritten function

10. Enter the rewritten formula, then AutoFill down as you did before.

Author:Bob Flisser
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