Excel Formulas – A Way to Show Messages Instead of Results

Sometimes it is desirable to use words instead of the results of Excel Formulas because a message makes the analysis meaningful. Other times you want to get rid of error values.

In any case, here are some examples of messages:

  • “Item not found” instead of N/A# error
  • “Yes” or “No”
  • “Not in stock”
  • “Approved” or “Denied”
  • “Profit less than last quarter”
  • And more

Showing messages instead of results is very simple; here’s how…

Embed your Excel Formula into an IF Function, its syntax is this: IF(logical_test,value_if_true,value_if_false)

Using one’s words:

=IF(Your formula evaluated against a condition, message if true, message if false)

Or you can use this form:

=IF(Your formula evaluated against a condition, message if true, your formula if false)

You can use logical functions: AND, OR, NOT in the “logical_test” argument to evaluate more complex conditions. Additionally, you can avoid error values by using ISERROR or IFERROR function (Excel 2007).

Here you have four examples:

  • =IF(A1>10000,”Excelent Sales”,”Review incentives”)
  • =IF(OR(A1>10000,A2>125),”Excelent Sales”,”Review incentives”)
  • =IF(ISNA(VLOOKUP(“Ann”,G1:G4,1,0)),”Not found”,VLOOKUP(“Ann”,G1:G4,1,0))
  • =IF(ISNA(VLOOKUP(“Ann”,G1:G4,1,0)),”Not found”,”In payroll”)

Messages are especially versatile when you work in tables because you can apply filters or conditional format to them.