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IF function is one of the most used functions in Excel.

In my opinion, it is the foundation of all programming and Excel formulae mastery.  However, it is also one of the most misused functions, especially Nested IF.

Especially now with Excel 2007 and beyond, you can nest up to 64 IF functions to form complex, slow and hard-to-understand IF THEN ELSE statement.

You don’t need to slow or complicate your worksheet anymore, here are the 7 faster alternatives:

1. VLOOKUP
2. CHOOSE & MATCH
3. REPT
4. INDEX & MATCH
5. SUMPRODUCT
6. BOOLEAN LOGIC
7. SUMIF
8. IFS
9. SWITCH
10. MAXIFS/MINIFS

## VLOOKUP

Say you have below price list with mixed currency and you want to convert them to USD The first step would be to look up the exchange rate per currency. Most users would use below nested IF function

```=IF(B2=\$F\$3,\$G\$3,
IF(B2=\$F\$4,\$G\$4,
IF(B2=\$F\$5,\$G\$5,
IF(B2=\$F\$6,\$G\$6,
IF(B2=\$F\$7,\$G\$7,
IF(B2=\$F\$8,\$G\$8))))))```

This is not only hard to understand but will definitely slow down your worksheet.

Below VLOOKUP Function is the 1st Alternative. `=VLOOKUP(B2,\$F\$2:\$G\$8,2,FALSE)`

How it works

VLOOKUP uses the exact match criteria to retrieve the exchange rates in Column 2 of the exchange rate table (\$F\$2:\$G\$8).

Note: You MUST specify the match criteria for VLOOKUP to exactly retrieve correct rates. IF the criterion is omitted, VLOOKUP, by default, does an approximate search giving wrong results.

## CHOOSE & MATCH FUNCTIONS `=CHOOSE(MATCH(B2,\$F\$3:\$F\$8,0),\$G\$3,\$G\$4,\$G\$5,\$G\$6,\$G\$7,\$G\$8)`

How it works

`MATCH(B2,\$F\$3:\$F\$8,0)=6`

MATCH function searches for the currency in the exchange rate table and returns its relative position.

CHOOSE function returns the exchange rate based on its position in the list. MATCH function above provides this position.

`=CHOOSE(6,\$G\$3,\$G\$4,\$G\$5,\$G\$6,\$G\$7,\$G\$8) = 1.25`

## REPT FUNCTION ```=REPT(\$G\$3,B2=\$F\$3)&
REPT(\$G\$4,B2=\$F\$4)&
REPT(\$G\$5,B2=\$F\$5)&
REPT(\$G\$6,B2=\$F\$6)&
REPT(\$G\$7,B2=\$F\$7)&
REPT(\$G\$8,B2=\$F\$8)```

How It Works

REPT Function returns a specific text string a specified number of times. If the specified number is zero, REPT returns an empty string.

Internally, Excel recognizes the value of TRUE as 1 and the value of FALSE as 0. This is a fact that REPT utilizes to determine the number of times to repeat.

Also, note that in our function above ONLY 1 test will evaluate TRUE, others return FALSE.

```=REPT(\$G\$3,FALSE)&REPT(\$G\$4,FALSE)&REPT(\$G\$5,FALSE)
&REPT(\$G\$6,FALSE)&REPT(\$G\$7,FALSE)&REPT(\$G\$8,TRUE)```

Where the test evaluates to FALSE, REPT functions returns an empty string (” “)

```=""&""&""
&""&""&"1.25435"```

## INDEX & MATCH `{=INDEX(\$G\$3:\$G\$8,MATCH(TRUE,(\$F\$3:\$F\$8=B2),0))}`

How it works

MATCH function checks if the currency exists in the range (\$F\$3:\$F\$8=B2). If TRUE, it returns the relative position of the currency.

The INDEX function returns the exchange rate in the range (\$G\$3:\$G\$8) given its position. MATCH provides this relative position.

NB: This is an array formula, Therefore, Ctrl+Shift+Enter

If want to avoid array formula, use a combination of INDEX, MATCH, INDEX shown below

`=INDEX(\$G\$3:\$G\$8,MATCH(TRUE,INDEX(\$F\$3:\$F\$8=B2,0),0))`

Based on the comment below by Keith, I have realized the above INDEX & MATCH function is overkill and simple INDEX & MATCH below works perfectly and much faster than the above combinations. `=INDEX(\$G\$3:\$G\$8,MATCH(B2,\$F\$3:\$F\$8,0))`

## SUMPRODUCT `=SUMPRODUCT(--(B2=\$F\$3:\$F\$8),\$G\$3:\$G\$8)`

How it works

In my opinion, this is the shortest and efficient formula.

►–(B2=\$F\$3:\$F\$8) returns an array of 1/0.     {0;0;0;0;0;1}

1 representing the relative position of the currency that meets the criteria in the exchange rate table

►\$G\$3:\$G\$8 returns an array of exchange rates  {0.00982118;0.071507;0.740269;1;1.06172;1.25435}

SUMPRODUCT gets the sum of the product of the two arrays

`=SUMPRODUCT({0;0;0;0;0;1},{0.00982118;0.071507;0.740269;1;1.06172;1.25435})=1.25435`

NB: This method ONLY  works with numeric values.

## BOOLEAN LOGIC ```=(B2=\$F\$4)*\$G\$4+(B2=\$F\$3)*\$G\$3+(B2=\$F\$5)*\$G\$5
+(B2=\$F\$6)*\$G\$6+(B2=\$F\$7)*\$G\$7+(B2=\$F\$8)*\$G\$8```

How it works

The method exploits the fact that internally, Excel recognizes the value of TRUE as 1 and the value of FALSE as 0.

Firstly, Compare the currency in the price list table with the currency in the exchange rate.  This results to TRUE/FALSE which Excel recognizes as 1/0.

```=(0)*\$G\$4+(0)*\$G\$3+(0)*\$G\$5
+(0)*\$G\$6+(0)*\$G\$7+(1)*\$G\$8```

Since only 1 test will evaluate to TRUE, if you multiply them with corresponding  rates and add them up, the result will be zeros plus the correct rate

```=0+0+0
+0+0+1.25435```

NB: This method also ONLY  works with numeric values.

## SUMIF How it works

This is another simple alternative but works ONLY with numeric values.

SUMIF function returns a sum of all numbers in a range of cells that meet a certain criterion.

syntax =SUMIF(Range, Criterion, [sum_range])

Range–Currencies to be evaluated using our criterion

Criterion–the currency on our price list that determines the exchange rate to be returned

Sum_range–the exchange rates

Since only one cell in our range will meet our criterion, SUMIF returns the coinciding rate.

## IFS FUNCTION

With office365 subscription, you get 3 More functions that easily replace nested. ```=IFS(B2=\$F\$3, \$G\$3,
B2=\$F\$4, \$G\$4,
B2=\$F\$5, \$G\$5,
B2=\$F\$6, \$G\$6,
B2=\$F\$7, \$G\$7,
B2=\$F\$8, \$G\$8)```

This is a simplified Nested IF since you do not need to retype IF function with every logical test–all you need is to type is the logical test and its value if True.

## SWITCH FUNCTION

This is also available with Office365 and much easier to write than IFS `=SWITCH(B2,\$F\$3,\$G\$3,\$F\$4,\$G\$4,\$F\$5,\$G\$5,\$F\$6,\$G\$6,\$F\$7,\$G\$7,\$F\$8,\$G\$8)`

This Video best explains how the SWITCH Function works

### MAXIFS/MINIFS MAXIFS/MINIFS functions return the maximum or minimum number in a range that meets a criterion.

This only works for numeric data.

## AVERAGEIFS This function calculates the average of numbers in a range that meet one or more supplied criteria.

### CONCLUSION

There you have it–7+ ways to eliminate the slow calculating and complex nested IF.

### RELATED ARTICLES

7 OVERLOOKED USES OF EXCEL MOD FUNCTION

EXCEL’S WEEKDAY FUNCTION IN-DEPTH

### RESOURCES

This article was inspired by the Excel Hero epic article  I Heart IF.

### RECOMMENDED BOOKS

EXCEL OUT OF BOX CREATIVITY BOOKS