**What Is SWITCH Function In Excel?**

The

SWITCHfunction in Excel is aLogicalfunction. It assesses a given value against a range of values to return the output corresponding to the first found match. And in the case of no matching value, the function returns the specified default value.

The **SWITCH **function is available in Excel 2016 and above. Users can use this function as an effective replacement for nested **IF()**. For example, the first table in the below image contains a list of grocery items and their corresponding category IDs.

And suppose we require to update each item’s category in column C, based on the legend provided in the range F3:G7. Then, we can apply the **SWITCH()** in the target cells to populate the required data.

In the above example, the **SWITCH Excel function return value** in each cell in column C corresponds to the first match found for the respective **Category ID** (column B).

For instance, in row 4, the category ID in cell B4 is **5**. So, the **SWITCH() **checks for the first match for the value **5**, which is **Pulses**. Thus, the **SWITCH Excel function return value **in the target cell C4 is **Pulses**.

###### Key Takeaways

- The
**SWITCH**Excel function checks the supplied value against a list of values and returns the result corresponding to the first match found. Users can apply this function instead of nested**IF**, as it reduces the formula length and complexity while allowing one to test more than one condition. - The
**SWITCH()**takes the arguments**expression**,**value1…..value126**,**result1…..result126**, and**default**as input. While the arguments**expression**,**value1**, and**result1**are mandatory, the remaining arguments are optional. - The
**SWITCH()**works only for scenarios where we must determine an exact match for a given value. But it also yields excellent results when used with other inbuilt Excel functions such as**MONTH**and**RIGHT**.

**SWITCH() Excel Formula**

The **SWITCH **Excel formula syntax is:

where,

**expression**: The value the**SWITCH**Excel formula would compare against value1…..value126.**value1**: The value the function compares against the**expression**.**result1**: The value the**SWITCH()**should return when the corresponding**valueN**matches the**expression**.**default_or_value2,result2**: The value the**SWITCH()**should return when there is no match in the**valueN**expressions.

While the first three **SWITCH function arguments** are mandatory, the **default** argument is optional.

Meanwhile, SWITCH function may not work due to the following reasons:

- The argument
**expression**can be a number, text value, Excel cell reference, named range, Boolean value, function, or formula. - We should provide the
**resultN**argument for every corresponding**valueN**argument supplied. - We can enter a maximum of 126 pairs of
**valueN**and**resultN**as**SWITCH Excel function arguments**since Excel functions typically accept 254 arguments. - If the
**SWITCH()**does not detect a match for the given**expression**and there is no**default**value, the function throws the**#N/A**error.

The above explanation for the **SWITCH()** arguments might appear complicated. But the **SWITCH examples** in the subsequent sections will help us understand them clearly.

**How To Use Switch Excel Function?**

Use the below steps to apply the **SWITCH **Excel function.

**Ensure the values we need to match for are numbers, text values, cell references, named ranges, Boolean values, functions, or formulas.****Then, select the target cell and enter the****SWITCH()**.**Finally, press****Enter**to view the**SWITCH()**output.

Here is an example to explain the above steps in detail.

The following table shows employees’ performance ratings on a scale of 1 to 5.

And suppose we have to update each employee rating in column C based on the corresponding rating value in column B. Then, here is how we can apply the **SWITCH()** in the target cells to get the required data.

**Step 1: **Select the target cell C2, enter the following **SWITCH()**, and press **Enter**.

*=SWITCH(B2,1,”Poor Performance”,2,”Needs Improvement”,3,”Meets Expectations”,4,”Exceeds Requirements”,5,”Exceptional Work”,”No Rating”)*

We can also enter the rating number directly as the **expression** argument. For example, the **SWITCH() **in the target cell C2 can be:

*=SWITCH(3,1,”Poor Performance”,2,”Needs Improvement”,3,”Meets Expectations”,4,”Exceeds Requirements”,5,”Exceptional Work”,”No Rating”)*

Alternatively, we can access the function from the **Formulas** tab. And for that, we need to select the target cell C2 and click **Formulas** – **Logical** – **SWITCH**.

Once we select the **SWITCH()**, the **Function Arguments **window will open, showing two fields, as depicted below.

Enter the two field values, and once we click on the **Value1 **field, the **Result1** field will appear, where we can enter the corresponding value. Then, click on the **Result1** field to get the next field, **Default_or_value2**. Next, when we click on the **Default_or_value2** field, the window will have 126 pairs of fields to enter the **valueN** and **resultN** values.

Also, please note that the last argument we enter will be the **default** argument. And in this case, it is **No Rating**. And if we do not have a default value, we can stop entering the arguments with the last **result **field.

And once we click **OK** in the **Function Arguments** window, the **SWITCH()** will get executed.

Thus, entering the arguments in the above-explained ways will ensure that SWITCH Excel function works correctly.

**Step 2: **Drag the fill handle downwards to copy the formula in the range C3:C11.

Let us consider the target cell C11 formula to understand how the **SWITCH()** works. First, the **expression **argument is a cell reference to the value **1**, **B11**. Then, the function tries to determine the matching result for the value **1**. In this example, it finds the first match, which is **Poor Performance**. And thus, it returns **Poor Performance** as the function output.

**Examples**

Here are a few more **SWITCH Excel function examples** to see how we can use the function effectively.

**Example #1**

This example shows how we can apply the **SWITCH **Excel function with a logical operator. Consider the below table. It shows the aggregates of ten students.

Suppose the requirement is to enter each student’s grade in column C based on their aggregate. Then, we can use the **SWITCH **Excel function, with the logical operator, **>=**, in the target cells and get the required grades.

Assume, 90-100% is grade A, 80-89% is grade B, 70-79% is grade C, 60-69% is grade D, and below 59% is fail.

**Step 1: **Select the target cell C2, enter the following **SWITCH()**, and press **Enter**.

**=SWITCH(TRUE,B2>=90,”A”,B2>=80,”B”,B2>=70,”C”,B2>=60,”D”,”Fail”)**

Here, the **valueN **arguments are expressions containing logical operators. Thus, the argument **expression **provided in the above **SWITCH()** is **TRUE**. The function determines the first match for which the aggregate value satisfies the condition. For example, in cell C2, the function finds the cell B2 value, **98**, satisfies the first condition or **value1**. And so, it returns grade **A** as the output.

**Step 2: **Drag the fill handle downwards to copy the formula in the range C3:C11.

In the case of the target cell C11, the **SWITCH()** does not find a match for the given aggregate. And thus, it returns the default value, **Fail**, as the function output.

**Example #2**

We can apply the **SWITCH **Excel function with other inbuilt functions, such as **MONTH, **to achieve excellent results.

Suppose the following table lists the team meeting schedules for the current year. And we have to determine in which quarter each scheduled meeting falls to display the data in the target cell range C2:C11.

Then, here is how we can utilize the **SWITCH** with the **MONTH Excel function**.

**Step 1: **Select the target cell C2, enter the formula provided in the Formula Bar in the below image, and press **Enter**.

The **SWITCH()** does not contain the **default** argument value in this example.

**Step 2: **Drag the fill handle downwards to copy the formula in the range C3:C11.

Consider the target cell C11 formula. First, the **MONTH() **returns the month of the date 12/13/2022 as a number **12**. Then the **SWITCH() **checks for a match for the value **12**, which is **Q4**. And thus, we can see **Q4** as the function output.

**Example #3**

This example shows how we can apply the **SWITCH **with **RIGHT Excel function **to find a match for a part of a given **expression**.

Assume that column A in the below table shows the US state capitals and state names in the abbreviated form.

And we have to display the full name of the corresponding state against each data point in column B. We can get the required data using the **SWITCH **Excel function with the **RIGHT()**.

**Step 1:** Select the target cell B2, enter the below formula containing the **RIGHT()** within the **SWITCH()**, and press **Enter**.

**=SWITCH(RIGHT(A2,2),”AK”,”Alaska”,”AL”,”Alabama”,”AR”,”Arkansas”,”AZ”,”Arizona”,”CA”,”California”,”CO”,”Colorado”,”CT”,”Connecticut”,”No Data”)**

**Step 2:** Drag the fill handle downwards to copy the formula in the range B3:B8.

Let us see the target cell B8 formula to understand how it works. First, the **RIGHT()** returns the last two characters from the text in cell A8, **AR**. And then, the **SWITCH()** checks for a match for the characters **AR**. As per the formula, the corresponding **resultN **argument for the **valueN**, **AR**, is **Arkansas**. So, the **SWITCH()** returns the value **Arkansas **as the output.

**Important Things To Note**

- The
**SWITCH**Excel function can accept a maximum of 126 pairs of**valueN**and**resultN**arguments. - We should ensure that the argument
**expression**in the**SWITCH()**is a number, text value, cell reference, named range, Boolean value, function, or formula. - For every
**valueN**argument supplied to the**SWITCH()**, there should be a corresponding**resultN**argument. - When the
**SWITCH excel function**cannot find a match for the supplied**expression**, and there is no**default**value, the function throws a**#N/A**error.

### Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs**)**

**1. Is there a SWITCH function in Excel?**

Yes, Excel has **SWITCH** function. It is available in the **Formulas** tab. We can click **Formulas** – **Logical** – **SWITCH** to use it.

**2. Why is the SWITCH() in Excel not working?**

The **SWITCH() **in Excel is not working, perhaps because of the following reasons:

• The **SWITCH() **argument **expression** is not a number, text value, cell reference, named range, Boolean value, function, or formula.

• You did not supply a corresponding **resultN **value for every **valueN **argument provided to the **SWITCH()**.

• The **SWITCH()** did not find a match for the given value, and you did not supply the **default** argument.

**3. How is SWITCH Excel function different from IFS?**

The **SWITCH** Excel function is different from **IFS()** in the following ways:

• The argument **expression **in the **SWITCH()** cannot contain logical operators and can appear only once as an argument. On the other hand, the **logical_test **argument (the equivalent of **expression**) in **IFS() **can contain logical operators, and the function can have more than one **logical_test** argument.

• The **SWITCH()** is easier to create and less complex than the **IFS()**.

• The formula created using the **SWITCH() **will be less lengthy than the one created using **IFS()**.

For example, the first table in the below image shows the list of months in a year.

And we need to enter the month name corresponding to the given month number in cell C2.

Let us see how to apply the **SWITCH()** and **IFS()** to determine the required data.**Step 1: **Select the target cell E2, enter the following **SWITCH()**, and press **Enter**.**=SWITCH(C2,1,A2,2,A3,3,A4,4,A5,5,A6,6,A7,7,A8,8,A9,9,A10,10,A11,11,A12,12,A13)****Step 2: **Select the target cell E3, enter the following **IFS() **provided in Formula Bar in the below image, and press **Enter**.

The above example shows that we cannot use logical operators in the argument **expression **in the **SWITCH()**. However, the **SWITCH()** formula is more straightforward and compact than the **IFS()**.

**Download Template**

This article must be helpful to understand the SWITCH Excel Function, with its formula and examples. You can download the template here to use it instantly.

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