Excel OR Function



Overview of the Excel OR Function

The Excel OR function is used in for logical testing of multiple conditions simultaneously. The OR function is designed to show either FALSE or TRUE or FALSE for an argument.

The Use of the Excel OR function

It is employed to test many conditions whether TRUE or FALSE about values or items in a cell

The return value for the Excel OR Function 

The Excel OR Function will return TRUE if any argument is TRUE and the condition is met or FALSE if none is found.

Logical Arguments for the Excel OR Function 

  • Logic1 – This is the first criteria or logical value to assess among the item.
  • Logic2 – [voluntary] the second criteria or logical value to assess the value or item.

Example 1

From the below example, to test column B is either “dog” or “cat” and return TRUE or FALSE in C10, the formula below is used


The Excel OR function can also be used as the logical test within the IF function. This will help to avoid extra nested Ifs. The Excel OR function can as well be combined with the ‘AND’ function.

Figure 1: Example 1 shows a FALSE result using the Excel OR Function

Example 2

The OR function can also be used to extend the functionality of other functions such as IF. Using the example above, you can supply OR as the logical test for an IF function like this:


This formula will display “Pass” if the score in M12 is greater than 20 OR the score in M13 is more than 20 and “Fail” if the values in both M12 and M13 are less than 20.

Figure 2: Example showing the Excel OR and IF Functions return Pass for a Score Range

Array Form for the Excel OR Function

When you use the Excel OR Function as a range you can check all the values present using a particular condition

For instance, this range formula will display TRUE if any cell within the range M11:M13 is more than 20:


Notes on the use of the Excel OR Function

  1. Always make sure that each logical condition always evaluates to FALSE or TRUE or FALSE, or must be references or sets containing logical values.
  2. The Excel OR Function always ignore text value or blank cells
  3. Where not logical value is found, the Excel OR function will display a #VALUE
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