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Alternatives to IF statements using SWITCH() in Airtable
• 28 Mar 2024
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# Alternatives to IF statements using SWITCH() in Airtable

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The `SWITCH()` function can be a big time-saver when you’re working with conditional-heavy formulas (e.g. nested IF() statements). Learn more about using this function as an alternative to nested `IF()` statements.

NOTE

When writing long formulas, it can sometimes be helpful to visually break up functions using tabbing and line breaks. Learn how to do this and more in this article.

`SWITCH(expression [, pattern, result]... [, default])`

Matches the expression against a series of pattern values, returning the result value corresponding to the first match. Pattern values must be unique. If no patterns match, returns the default value if specified, otherwise null…

`SWITCH(4, 1, "one", 2, "two", "many") => "many"`

To demonstrate the difference between using `SWITCH()` and `IF()`, we’ll use the example of a formula that tells us the phase a project is in based on how close the due date is. The criteria we’ll use are:

• 4 weeks out from due date = planning phase

• 3 weeks out from due date = execution phase

• 2 weeks out from due date = loose ends and review phase

• 1 week out from due date = launch phase

• None of the above = out of range

For the sake of simplicity, let’s assume that we already have a field called “weeks until deadline” that provides us with the number of weeks until the project’s deadline.

Nested IF() statement approach

Using the formula below results in a different project phase depending on the {Weeks Until Deadline} field.

``````IF(
{Weeks Until Deadline} = 4, 'Planning',
IF(
{Weeks Until Deadline} = 3, 'Execution',
IF(
{Weeks Until Deadline} = 2, 'Loose ends and review',
IF(
{Weeks Until Deadline} = 1, 'Launch', 'Out of range'
)
)
)
)
``````

Switch() function approach

Similarly, the `SWITCH()` statement below produces the same result but with a much cleaner formula. Using SWITCH in this instance removes the need for nesting. Notice that {Weeks Until Deadline} is only referenced a single time (as opposed to four times).

``````SWITCH(