It is difficult to explain what I am looking to do so bear with me, I am trying to create a workbook and I want a specific cell to auto-populate.

I used the IF function because I want the box to populate with information from another field if a condition is met.

For example... I have 3 cells, I want cell C to populate with information provided in cell B but only when cell A is "XYZ" I would assume the function I should use is: =IF(CellA="XYZ","CellB",0).

The problem is I cannot use another cell as the "value".

  • OMG, I can't believe it was so easy, i feel silly! Thank you!!
    – cbrindley
    Nov 2, 2017 at 17:59

3 Answers 3


In a function, you need to use proper cell references. Excel does not recognize "CellB". Proper reference is to use the column and row. For instance, A1 is the reference for Column A, Row 1.

That being said, your formula in C1 should be =IF(A1="XYZ", B1, 0). This will return the value of B1 if A1 has XYZ in it. Otherwise, it will return 0.


You MAY use another cell as the "value", but without quotes ("), e. g.

=IF(A1="XYZ", B1, 0)

Then every time when B1 will change (and A1 will contain the value "XYZ") the the cell with that formula will show the same value as B1.

  • If a blank cell is desired when the condition is NOT met (instead of 0) the 0 in the formula can be changed to “”
    – Tyson
    Nov 2, 2017 at 17:57

Suppose your worksheet is about Rent.

For Company "XYZ", rent is say Rs.165 per square feet.While for others it is Rs.5000, say.

In column A : Company Name In Column B : Area used in Square Feet In Column C : If Company is "XYZ" then rent in Column C would be Area X 165 else Rs.5000.

So in Column C, Cell C2 Formula would be :

C2= if(A2="XYZ",B2*165,5000)

Copy the formula in C2 and paste it down the column.

If any query, please revert back.


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