### NKW6 PT1 - IF

# Introduction

I recently pulled together an Excel session to go through the fundamentals of the IF, VLOOKUP, INDEX and MATCH functions. To do this I started out by putting together a bit of an explanation and then recording, with sample data, how these functions can be used and common pitfalls. This is the first session.

## Part 1 IF

The IF function can
allow you to interrogate the information in a cell or cells and then instruct
the programme to return a response, which can be text a number, a cell
reference, another function or a calculation.

It sounds rather complex, another way to think about it might be to set yourself a problem for example If the total cost of a project exceeds £3m then I should abandon it otherwise I will go ahead. How does this look when written out?

·
**=IF**(**A1>3000000**,**”Abandon”**,**”Proceed”)**

·
The **=IF** tells the programme what function you are using

·
All
functions are enclosed in brackets ()

·
**A1** is
where to figure for the total cost is found, this could be replaced with
multiple cell references in a calculation eg **A1+B3-F5**, depending upon where the data is.

·
The **>** symbol tells the programme that the if A1 is
bigger than 3000000, effectively setting the criteria for what follows. This could be less than **<**, equal to **=**, less than or equal to **<=** or greater than or equal to **>=**.

·
The **3000000** is your limit and can be adjusted as you see fit.

·
**“Abandon”** is what you want the
programme to return if your criteria is met, in this case the cost of the
project will exceed £3m.

·
**“Proceed”** is what you want the
programme to return if your criteria is not met ie if the project does not cost
more than £3m.

The best way to get to grips with this is to do it so watch the video below and then have a go using some data that you have. Try to think about things in terms of asking a yes/no or true/false question of your data and then what answer you would then give to reflect those outcomes.

Things cat get really complicated when, instead of false or no you ask a further question and so on. then we get into the realms of multiple nested IF functions, fun? Maybe another time...

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