How to Do If Then in Excel: A Step-by-Step Guide

Have you ever found yourself in need of a quick way to make decisions in Excel? Well, look no further! The “IF THEN” function is your best friend when it comes to conditional logic in Excel. In no time, you’ll be able to set up rules that say “if this happens, then do that” – saving you time and headaches!

Step by Step Tutorial: How to do IF THEN in Excel

Before we dive into the steps, let’s understand what we’re aiming for. The IF THEN function in Excel allows you to create logical tests and specify what should happen if the test result is TRUE or FALSE. It’s like instructing Excel to take a specific action based on a condition.

Step 1: Select the Cell Where You Want the IF THEN Function

Click on the cell where you want the result of the IF THEN function to appear.

Choosing the right cell is crucial because this is where your result will be displayed. Make sure it’s in a location that makes sense for your data and the decisions you’re trying to make.

Step 2: Type “=IF(” into the Formula Bar

Begin your function with “=IF(” to initiate the IF THEN logic.

Remember, every function in Excel starts with an equal sign. It’s like telling Excel, “Hey, I’m about to give you a command, so get ready!”

Step 3: Enter the Logical Test

After the opening parenthesis, type the condition you want to test.

This is where you set the rule. For example, if you’re checking whether a number in cell A1 is greater than 10, your logical test will be “A1>10”.

Step 4: Type a Comma After the Logical Test

Add a comma to separate the logical test from the next part of the function.

The comma acts as a divider in the function, clearly separating each part so Excel can understand what you’re trying to do.

Step 5: Specify the Value if the Test is TRUE

Type what you want Excel to do if the logical test is TRUE, then add another comma.

This could be a specific value you want to show up, another function, or even some text. For example, if A1 is greater than 10, you can have Excel display “Yes”.

Step 6: Specify the Value if the Test is FALSE

Finally, type what you want Excel to do if the logical test is FALSE, then close the parenthesis.

This is the fallback action. If A1 isn’t greater than 10 in our example, perhaps you want Excel to display “No”.

After completing these steps, Excel will now perform your specified action based on the condition you set. It’s like you’ve built a mini decision-making machine right in your spreadsheet!

Tips for IF THEN in Excel

  • Always start with an equal sign when typing a function.
  • Double-check your logical test to make sure it reflects the condition you want to check.
  • Use quotation marks around text values in your TRUE or FALSE responses.
  • Nest IF functions if you have more than one condition to check.
  • Remember that Excel functions are case insensitive.

Frequently Asked Questions

What can I do if I have multiple conditions?

You can nest IF functions within each other or use the AND/OR functions to check multiple conditions.

Can I use the IF THEN function with text?

Absolutely! You can check if a cell contains specific text and return corresponding values based on that.

How do I reference a cell value in the logical test?

Simply click on the cell or type its address (like A1) directly into the function.

Can I return a blank cell if the condition is false?

Sure can! Just use two quotation marks with nothing between them (“”) for the FALSE value.

What if I make a mistake in my formula?

No worries, Excel will often tell you there’s an error and suggest a correction. If not, double-check each part of your function for accuracy.


  1. Select the cell for the function result.
  2. Initiate the function with “=IF(“.
  3. Enter the logical test.
  4. Use a comma after the logical test.
  5. Specify the TRUE value action.
  6. Specify the FALSE value action.


Mastering the IF THEN function in Excel can significantly enhance your data analysis and decision-making processes. It’s a simple yet powerful tool that, once understood, can be tailored to suit a myriad of scenarios in your spreadsheets. Whether you’re managing budgets, organizing schedules, or just trying to make sense of a sea of data, the IF THEN function can bring clarity and automation to your workflow. Remember to practice and experiment with different conditions and outcomes to fully harness the power of this function. Happy Excelling!

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