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One or the other not both

Excel formula: One or the other not both
Generic formula 
=XOR(criteria1,criteria2)
Explanation 

To check two items with exclusive OR (one or the other, but not both), you can use the XOR function. In the example shown, E5 contains the following formula:

=XOR(C5="x",D5="x")

This formula returns TRUE when either coffee or tea have an "x". It returns FALSE if both coffee or team has an "x", or if neither coffee or team has an "x".

How this formula works

In this example the XOR function contains two expressions, one to test for an "x" in column C, and one to test for an "x" in column D.

C5="x" // TRUE if coffee is "x"
D5="x" // TRUE if tea is "x"

With two logical criteria, XOR has a particular behavior, summarized in the table below:

Coffee Tea Result
TRUE FALSE TRUE
FALSE TRUE TRUE
TRUE TRUE FALSE
FALSE FALSE FALSE

At each row in column E, XOR evaluates values in column C and D and returns a TRUE or FALSE result. This behavior is sometimes referred to as "exclusive OR", meaning only one result can be true.

Note: with more than two criteria, XOR behavior changes, as explained on the XOR function page.

Author 
Dave Bruns

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