Over the last five chapters, you’ve learned how to use Excel’s impressive function toolkit to calculate everything from statistical trend lines to a payment schedule for a home mortgage. Now that you’ve had a close look at these functions, it’s time to consider a few techniques to help you get the most from your formulas.

In this chapter, you’ll tackle four new topics that’ll make you a formula master:

How to use conditional logic with functions like SUMIF() and COUNTIF().

How to make formulas more readable by using named ranges.

How to control when Excel recalculates your worksheets.

How to solve mysterious errors by using Excel’s formula auditing tools.

Chapter 8 gave you a first look
at how to use conditional logic when writing Excel formulas. The basic
principles are easy: you construct a condition using the logical
operators like <, >, =, and <>, and then use this
condition with a *conditional function*. So far,
you’ve considered only one conditional function—IF()—which performs
different actions depending on the result of a calculation.

Here’s an example that uses the IF() function. The following formula carries out the operation in either the second or third argument, depending on the value of cell A20:

=IF(A20>10000, A20*5%, A20*3%)

Translation: For values greater than 10,000, Excel executes the
formula *A20*5%*; otherwise, it carries out the second formula. If A20 contains the dollar amount of a sales invoice, ...

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