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General-Purpose Functions


Conditional choice function


Select(condition, if_true, condition, if_true, ...)


condition - formula specifying a true/false condition (non-zero means true)

if_true - formula to evaluate and return the result of if condition is true


Select is similar to IF in that it provides a kind of conditional branch function.

In fact, the following two statements are equivalent:

if(cond1, value1, value2)

select(cond1, value1, 1, value2)

The purpose of select becomes more apparent when multiple if statements need to be nested:

if(cond1, if(cond2, if(cond3, value3, NaN), value2), value1)

select(cond1, value1, cond2, value2, cond3, value3)

In this example, the select expression is clearly simpler.

If select finds no conditions that return non-zero ("true"), then the function returns NaN. This is different from if, which will never return NaN unless done explicitly as in the above example.

To make select always return a default value if no conditions match (as in the first select example above), either make the final condition simply "1" (or any non-zero value), or use an odd number of arguments:

select(cond1, value1, value2)

When an odd number of arguments is used, the last argument becomes the default value.




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