Excel allows a user to validate input with check mark using IF and COUNTIF function. This step by step tutorial will assist all levels of Excel users in validating the inputs with check marks based on the data from another table.

*Figure 1. Validate store input with the check mark*

**Syntax of the IF Formula**

The generic formula for the IF function is:

**=IF(logical_test, value_if_true, value_if_false)**

The parameters of the IF function are:

**logical_test**– a logical expression that we want to check**value_if_true**– a value which the function returns if a logical_test is TRUE**value_if_false**– a value which the function returns if a logical_test is FALSE.

**Syntax of the COUNTIF Formula**

The generic formula for the COUNTIF function is:

**=COUNTIF(range, criteria)**

The parameters of the COUNTIF function are:

**range**– range where we want to apply our criteria**criteria**– a criteria in criteria range which we want to count.

**Setting up Our Data to Validate Store Input with Check Mark**

* Figure 2. Data that we will use in the example*

Our first table consists of 2 columns: “Store” (column B) and “Validate Input” (column C) while the second one has one column “Store” (column E). The idea is to label the stores from column B that are matchable with the stores from the second table and to put the check mark in column C.

**Validate Stores with Check Mark Using IF and COUNTIF Functions**

In our example, we want to check and mark the stores from the first table that exist in the second table using IF and COUNTIF functions. In order to make the formula more clear we will create a named range **Valid** for the cell range E3:E6.

To create a named range we should follow the steps:

- Select the cell range that should be named
- Click on the name box in Excel
- Write the name for the cell range and press enter

* Figure 3. Creating a named range Valid for the inputs validation*

The formula looks like:

**=IF(COUNTIF(Valid,B3),"P","")**

The** logical_test** in the IF function is the formula COUNTIF(Valid,B3). The parameter **value_if_true** is the string “P” while the **value_if_false** is an empty string. In the COUNTIF function **range** is a named range Valid while the **criteria** is the cell B3.

To apply the function, we need to follow these steps:

- Select cell C3 and click on it
- Insert the formula:
`=IF(COUNTIF(Valid,B3),"P","")`

- Press enter
- Drag the formula down to the other cells in the column by clicking and dragging the little “+” icon at the bottom-right of the cell
- Change a Font in column C to Wingdings 2 to display check marks

* Figure 4. Validate store inputs using IF and COUNTIF functions*

COUNTIF function is checking if a store from column B exists in the column E. Result will be a number 1 if there is a store in column E and 0 if there is not. IF function interprets 0 value as a FALSE value and returns an empty string. If the result from the COUNTIF function is the number 1 IF function logical test will be TRUE and formula output will be a string “P”.

To convert a string “P” to the check mark, we just have to change a font in column C to the Wingdings 2. As a result, the check mark appears behind the stores that are matchable with the stores from the second table.

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