The IF statement is a useful function of Microsoft Excel that can save a great deal of time spent on analysing and annotating data manually.
It’s a versatile, advanced, formula that can be combined with other formulae where needed. This is exactly the sort of thing we’ll teach you in our Advanced Excel course.
If this is the kind of advanced Excel tip you find useful, you might also want to have a look at our tutorials on the VLOOKUP and HLOOKUP functions of Excel and Conditional Formatting in Excel.
How to Use the IF Formula in Excel
The IF formula is built on a premise of auto-populating a field with the result of a true/false test.
For example, an employer may have a bonus structure where employees get a staggered bonus payment based on how much they sell in a month. If they make more than 60 sales, they get 5 times their sales in pounds in their pay packet! If they make less than 60 sales, they get 2 times their sales.
The formula looks like this: IF (logical_test, [value_if_true], [value_if_false]).
So, using the example above, we’d say =IF(b3<60, 5, 2)
Read the rest of “Using IF Statements in Excel”
Adding a sparkline graph to your Excel spreadsheet is an effective way of summarising your data in a visual aid, without having to take up space with a detailed graph.
Microsoft Excel 2010 has a built-in sparklines feature, but you can easily create them in Excel 2007 – tutorial below. Our public Microsoft Excel for Beginners course teaches you how to use Excel 2010, but we’ll be happy to train you on Excel 2007 if you choose a private course. (With regards to future updates to Microsoft Office, we’ll always check which version you’re using before we book you onto the course). This is the same for our Advanced Excel training and VBA for Excel course.
The main thing to remember about sparklines is that they are intended to be a simple visual of your data. If you find you want or need more labelling and legends, it’s worth going back to your usual graphs.
Inserting a Sparkline in Excel
Select the data labels for the X-axis, hold down Ctrl, and select the data for the Y axis.
Go to the Insert tab, choose Line and 2D-line
With your basic graph now on the page, you could remove all the labels and legends manually. A much quicker way is to click on ‘Chart Layouts’ in the Design tab and choose Layout 11 (no need to hover over them, it’s easily recognisable as the one that makes a sparkline as it has the least detail). Read the rest of “How to Create a Sparkline in Excel”
This tutorial is covered on our Beginners Excel course, if you want to learn some more complex techniques then take a look at our Advanced Excel course outline.
When constructing large spreadsheets it is likely that you will need to cross-reference data from different worksheets.
An example of this could be monthly figures on individual worksheets and a total or yearly worksheet.
You can use a simple formula to automatically update the total figures based on the monthly worksheets but this means referencing cells in multiple worksheets in one formula. So how do you do this?
It is actually very simple. In this example I will show you how to add together two cells from separate worksheets into another worksheet using employee sales figures.
As you can see we have January, February & Total worksheets.
We want to combine Rachel’s January and February sales figures to give us her total in 2012. Read the rest of “How to Reference Cells from Other Worksheets in a Formula”