We all know the AND, OR & NOT formulas in Excel using which you can perform simple logical operations And, Or & Negate. But what if you are the chief of HR at ACME Company, where they have a strange rule on extra allowance like this:
Now, to calculate the dates in a month that meet this clause, we need an “exclusive OR” formula or what geeks call as “XOR” operation.
The logical operation … exclusive or (symbolized XOR, EOR), … results in a value of true if exactly one of the operands has a value of true. A simple way to state this is “one or the other but not both.”
Now, XOR or exclusive Or is a fairly common logical test, but there is no straight forward formula to test this. Instead we have to use a lengthy combination or AND, OR and NOT formulas to arrive at XOR.
For eg. assuming you want TRUE only when one of the two logical conditions A or B is TRUE,
you have to write,
=OR(AND(NOT(A),B),AND(A,NOT(B))) [Afterall, that is how XOR operation is defined to begin with]
Now, that seems like an awful formula. May be there is a better formula after all?!? One that is less crazier than the HR clause of ACME Co.
Well, there is.
If you observe closely, XOR is nothing but <> (not equal to sign). So, instead of going nuts writing the lengthy ANDORNOT combination, you can simplify the formula to,
=A<>B and it gives the same outcome.
So, the formula to find whether a given date (in cell A1) qualifies for bonus allowance,
=IF((WEEKDAY(A1)=6)<>(MOD(DAY(A1),5)=0),"Pay Bonus","Pay Regular")
More about logical formulas in Excel
Do you XOR in real life?
There have been few occasions when I had to XOR in my worksheets. I found that writing the correct formula can be a bit tricky depending on how crazy the rule is. But almost always a combination of <>, NOT, AND and OR worked for me well.
What about you? Do you write formulas that involve complex IF clauses?
My name is Chandoo. Thanks for dropping by. My mission is to make you awesome in Excel & your work. I live in Wellington, New Zealand. When I am not F9ing my formulas, I cycle, cook or play lego with my kids. Know more about me.
Thank you and see you around.
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