Excel's NOT function

Once you've got a solid handle on Excel's TRUE, FALSE, AND, and OR functions, there's only one more logical structure to learn: NOT. Let's take a look at how it works.

If you aren't yet familiar with the TRUE and FALSE functions, be sure to read our TRUE and FALSE tutorial before proceeding. Knowing about AND and OR is also helpful before reading this tutorial, so check out our AND and OR overview first as well.

Using NOT

The NOT function is the easiest to remember of Excel's logical formulas. Here's the formula:


NOT takes whatever logical expression is inside of it, and spits out the reverse. In other words, if the logical_expression inside of NOT is TRUE, the formula will output FALSE; and, conversely, if the logical_expression inside of NOT is FALSE, the formula will output TRUE.

Let's take a look at a couple of examples:

Output: FALSE
Output: TRUE

The above formulas are very simple: the NOT function just reverses whatever logical_expression we give it. But, NOT will also work with more complex expressions. Here's an example:

=NOT(OR(7>3, "Cookies"="Brownies"))
Step 2: =NOT(TRUE)
Output: FALSE

We can also use NOT within AND and OR functions, like so:

=AND(9>5, NOT(8<1))
Step 2: =AND(TRUE, TRUE)
Output: TRUE

Use NOT to simplify boolean logic when you want to check to ensure that a particular condition is not true — for example, if you wanted to make sure that the amount charged on an invoice does not exceed a particular threshold.

Once you've mastered Excel's logical functions and operators, it's time to put it all together by moving on to IF statements. Our IF statement tutorial is a great place to start.

Save an hour of work a day with these 5 advanced Excel tricks

Work smarter, not harder. Sign up for our 5-day mini-course to receive must-learn lessons on getting Excel to do your work for you.

  • How to create beautiful table formatting instantly...
  • Why to rethink the way you do VLOOKUPs...
  • Plus, we'll reveal why you shouldn't use PivotTables and what to use instead...

By submitting this information, you agree to Deskbright's privacy policy and terms of service.