The OR() truth table in Excel – How to

The OR() truth table in Excel – How to

The OR() truth table in Excel.

This quick lesson illustrates the OR() truth table in Excel.

For the purpose of this lesson, we use Excel 2007 or higher, on a Windows PC. If you are using another system, then feel free to follow along.


Before you go through this lesson, take a look at the tutorial on proving 0 is false, and 1 is true. For one thing, that lesson will help you understand true and false in computing a little better.

As for this instruction, we take a look at how true and false works with the OR() function, in Excel.

Brief review of AND()

When using AND(), you can actually multiply true and false to determine the result. If you substitute 1 for true and 0 for false, then this is what you get:

  • 0 * 0 = 0
  • 1 * 0 = 0
  • 0 * 1 = 0
  • 1 * 1 = 1

Understanding the OR() truth table

The OR() truth table in Excel.
The OR() truth table in Excel.

Instead of multiplying 0 and 1, with OR(), you add 0 plus 1. Therefore, you get results like:

  • 0 + 0 = 0
  • 1 + 0 = 1
  • 0 + 1 = 1
  • 1 + 1 = 2

Keep in mind, in Excel, any result that is not zero is true. In the last operation, 1 + 1 is also true. So, the truth table for OR() in Excel goes as follows:

  • false + false = false
  • true + false = true
  • false + true = true
  • true + true = true

As you see, the only time OR() is false is when both arguments are false.

Practical example

Here is a practical example of using OR() in Excel. In this example, we want to know if a child is a boy. Or, if any child is less than 11 years old.

Practical example.
The header for column C may look confusing. Basically, the function, startin on row 8 is, =OR(A8, B12).

Remember, we have a more detailed lesson on true and false in Excel. Be sure to check it out when you get the chance.



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