In Excel if I have some boolean operation of the form


I know that * means AND() and + means OR() so that we are searching for ones in columns A and B being "Google" and "Stanford" respectively or those in column C being "Columbia".

But is there a symbol for NOT()?

  • 1
    Excel has AND(), OR(), and NOT() functions, are these useful to you? – Tom Carpenter Nov 13 '15 at 2:08
  • No. If I replace the inside of the IF with OR(AND(A:A,B:B),C:C) abbreviating the arguments, then it will not work. I am looking for a symbol representing NOT(), if it exists, that I can use in something like the above expression. – domoremath Nov 13 '15 at 3:00

* works as AND() and + works as OR() because TRUE has a value of 1 and FALSE has a value of 0.  And, since the NOT() function turns TRUE into FALSE and vice versa (10), a simple way of implementing NOT(x) arithmetically is 1-x.

Unfortunately, that works only for 0 and 1.  If you’re using + for OR(), and you have two (or more) TRUE conditions combined in an expression, you will get a value of 2 or greater.  The good news (which you already know) is that any non-zero number counts as TRUE.  The bad news is that 1-2 is -1, which is non-zero and hence also TRUE.

An alternative solution is the logical expression x=0, e.g.,


If x is 0, this logical expression evaluates as TRUE.  If x is anything other than 0, the expression evaluates as FALSE.  Thus, x=0 functions as NOT(x).

Warning: if you combine multiple Boolean (TRUE or FALSE) values with *, +, and -, they are converted into integers (numbers); but if you do a number=number test, you end up with a Boolean.  Thus, you could say something like


(without using IF()), because Boolean*Boolean is a number, but you cannot do


because SUM() does not work on Boolean values.  But you can use it

  • in an IF(),
  • by adding 0 (+0), or
  • by multiplying by 1 (*1).

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