How to Use Less Than or Equal to Function in Excel

By Regina Edwards

Microsoft Excel automatically evaluates data and generates a value for a cell through programmed formulas under the Function tool. Formulas usually contain mathematical equations for calculations; the Excel Function tool inserts an analytical command in formula format. The symbol for "less than or equal to" (<=) can be used to set a specific criterion or comparative rule for evaluation. If the value in a specified cell on a spreadsheet meets this criterion (i.e., it is less than or equal to the criterion), then the formula calculates a "TRUE" value. If the value is greater than the criterion, the formula calculates "FALSE."

Step 1

Select the cell to display the calculated result and insert the function for the comparative formula (by selecting "Function" under "Insert" in the top menu bar). Make sure to review the format of the formula in the dialog box to identify the information to be entered. For example, the formula format for IF is "=if(logical_test, value_if_TRUE, value_if_FALSE)" where the logical test is the comparative rule or conditional criterion, value-if-TRUE generates a response when both conditions match and value-if-FALSE generates a different response if both conditions do not match.

Step 2

Type "(" and then select the cell containing the value for the criterion or type the desired value. For example, after the function "=if" is generated, type "(" and then select the A3 cell to display "=if(A3" in the formula bar.

Step 3

Type "<=" and then type the value or select another cell containing the value for evaluation. For example, to check whether a cell value is less than or equal to 100, type "<=" followed by "100" displays as "=if(A3<=100" in the formula bar.

Step 4

Type ")", other information as specified by the formula format (in Step 1) and then press the "Enter" key to complete the function. For example, the desired calculation will generate a display of 4 if the value in A3 is less than or equal to 100 or 500 if the value in A3 is greater than 100. The complete formula would read "=if(A3<=100, 4, 500)" before pressing the "Enter" key.

Step 5

Explore other functions to create comparative formulas such as COUNTIF and SUMIF where "<=" can be used.

Tips & Warnings

  • Consider using the ">=" (greater than or equal to) or "<>" (does not equal) symbols in logical comparisons.
  • Specify a word in the formula by enclosing the text in quotation marks. For example, to calculate the price for each item in a list and generate a word, type the formula "if(A3<=100, "BUY", "WAIT")" so that the desired calculation will generate a display of "BUY" if the item's value (in A3) is less than or equal to 100 or "WAIT" if the value in A3 is greater than 100.
  • Excel will automatically check the validity of a formula after the "Enter" key is pressed and display a dialog box containing suggestions to fix any errors in the formula.