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Using Comparison Formulas

A comparison formula is a statement that compares two or more numbers, text strings, cell contents, or function results. If the statement is true, the result of the formula is given the logical value TRUE (which is equivalent to any nonzero value). If the statement is false, the formula returns the logical value FALSE (which is equivalent to 0). Table 3.2 summarizes the operators you can use in comparison formulas.

Table 3.2. Comparison Formula Operators
OperatorNameExampleResult
=Equal to=10=5FALSE
>Greater than=10>5TRUE
<Less than=10<5FALSE
>=Greater than or equal to="a">="b"FALSE
<=Less than or equal to="a"<="b"TRUE
<>Not equal to="a"<>"b"TRUE

Comparison formulas have many uses. For example, you can determine whether to pay a salesperson a bonus by using a comparison formula to compare actual sales with a predetermined quota. If the sales are greater than the quota, the rep is awarded the bonus. You also can monitor credit collection. For example, if the amount a customer owes is more than 150 days past due, you might send the invoice to a collection agency.

→ Comparison formulas also make use of Excel's logical functions, so seeAdding Intelligence with Logical Functions,” p. 155.

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