Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. If you are using a later version (Word 2007 or later), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for later versions of Word, click here: Conditional Calculations in Word.

Conditional Calculations in Word

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated April 27, 2018)

5

One big benefit of using a spreadsheet program like Excel is the ability to create formulas that define results based on other information within the spreadsheet. Word is not Excel, but it does allow you to perform simple arithmetic based on the contents of a table. This can come in very handy in many instances.

What if you want to perform a conditional calculation, however? For instance, let's assume you have the following calculation field in a table cell:

{ = (B2-B1) }

What if you want to display the result only if B2 is not equal to zero? If B2 is zero, then you want the result displayed by the calculation to be zero.

To create conditional calculations, you use the IF field. This field causes Word to do a comparison, and then choose different results based on the outcome of the comparison. In this case, you want to test if B2 is equal to zero. If it is, then you want to return a value of zero. If it is not, then you want to do the subtraction. This is how such a compound field calculation would appear:

{ =IF (B2=0,0,B2-B1) }

The key factor in this IF formula is the comparison it performs. The comparison is the first element within the parentheses, in this case B2=0. The result of this comparison determines which of the following elements are used in the field. If the comparison is TRUE, then the first element (0) is used. If the comparison if FALSE, then the second element (B2-B1) is used. You can easily change the comparison to some other operation, if desired. For instance, if you want to make sure that zero was returned anytime that B2 was 0 or less, then you could use the formula B2<=0.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (1671) applies to Microsoft Word 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. You can find a version of this tip for the ribbon interface of Word (Word 2007 and later) here: Conditional Calculations in Word.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Turning On Property Information Prompting

You may want to make sure that users of a document fill in the properties associated with a document. In most versions of ...

Discover More

Controlling the Hidden Text Attribute

Want your macro to change the Hidden attribute for some text in your document? It's easier to change than you might think.

Discover More

Changing the Style Area Font

The style area, displayed at the left side of your document, can be helpful in understanding how styles are used in your ...

Discover More

Comprehensive VBA Guide Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) is the language used for writing macros in all Office programs. This complete guide shows both professionals and novices how to master VBA in order to customize the entire Office suite for their needs. Check out Mastering VBA for Office 2010 today!

More WordTips (menu)

Inserting the Date Your Document was Last Saved

Word keeps track of the date each time you save your document. If you want to insert that "save date" in your document, ...

Discover More

Inserting the Name of the Last Person to Save the Document

Who saved the document the last time? Word keeps track of that information, and you can insert the person's name into the ...

Discover More

Counting Fields in a Document

Need to count the number of times a particular field appears in a document? It's easy to do when you apply the techniques ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is 3 + 8?

2016-01-28 10:07:52

Richard Brown

Allen, If, when the condition in the example above is true and you wanted to return a result of a blank cell rather than "0", i.e. you do not want to show any result at all if cells B1 and B2 are empty, how can this be done?

In Excel you would simply put
{ =IF (B2=0,"",B2-B1) } obviously using the correct Excel syntax, but that statement returns "syntax error" in Word.

Can you help please?


2015-07-08 10:54:49

Riccardo Nicolai

Hi,

i have an issue on a IF construct in Microsoft Word 2013.
I write here the IF formula of Excel:

IF(B5-C5=0;"-";B5-C5)

How could i do this formula in my Word table?

Best regards,
Riccardo


2015-07-08 10:51:42

Riccardo Nicolai

Hi,

i have an issue on a IF construct in Microsoft Word 2013.
I write here the IF formula of Excel:


2014-10-07 22:42:58

Stephen McBride

How do you add {seq r /n /h} and {seq c /n /h} together to get a total?


2012-11-18 08:21:26

rashid

in a table like 1 column and three row .there are three number like 2,2,2 the total is 6.in word i need if i change any 1 number like 2 to 3 the result automatically change.tell me how this happen?


This Site

Got a version of Word that uses the menu interface (Word 97, Word 2000, Word 2002, or Word 2003)? This site is for you! If you use a later version of Word, visit our WordTips site focusing on the ribbon interface.

Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.