Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
So far, you’ve seen the basic arithmetic operators (which are used for addition,
subtraction, division, and so on) and the cell reference operators (used to specify one
or more cells). There’s one final category of operators that’s useful when creating
formulas: logical operators .
Logical operators let you build conditions into your formulas so the formulas
produce different values depending on the value of the data they encounter. You can use
a condition with cell references or literal values.
For example, the condition A2=A4 is true if cell A2 contains the same value as cell
A4. On the other hand, if these cells contain different values (say 2 and 3), then the
formula generates a false value. Using conditions is a stepping-stone to using
conditional logic. Conditional logic lets you perform different calculations based on
For example, you can use conditional logic to see how large an order is, and provide
a discount if the total order cost’s over $5,000. Excel evaluates the condition,
meaning it determines if the condition’s true or false. You can then tell Excel what to do,
based on that evaluation.
Table 17-3 lists all the logical operators you can use to build formulas.
Table 17-3. Logical operators
Greater than or equal to
Less than or equal to
Not equal to
You can use logical operators to build standalone formulas, but that’s not
particularly useful. For example, here’s a formula that tests whether cell A1 contains the
The parentheses aren’t actually required, but they make the formula a little bit clearer,
emphasizing the fact that Excel evaluates the condition first, and then displays the
result in the cell. If you type this formula into the cell, then you see either the
uppercase word TRUE or FALSE, depending on the content in cell A2.
On their own, logical operators don’t accomplish much. However, they really shine
when you start combining them with other functions to build conditional logic. For
example, you can use the SUMIF() function, which totals the value of certain rows,