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The is one of the most heavily used functions in Excel. IF is a simple function, and people love IF because it gives them the power to make Excel respond as information is entered in a spreadsheet.
With IF, you can bring your spreadsheet to life. But one IF often leads to another, and once you combine more than a couple IFs, your formulas can start to look like little Frankensteins:) Are nested IFs evil? Are they sometimes necessary? What are the alternatives? Read on to learn the answers to these questions and more. Basic IF Before we talk about nested IF, let's quickly review the basic IF structure.
= ( ()) The TODAY function returns the current date inside of the MONTH function. The MONTH function takes that date and returns the current month. Even moderately complex formulas use nesting frequently, so you'll see nesting everywhere in more complex formulas. A simple nested IF A nested IF is just two more IF statements in a formula, where one IF statement appears inside the other. To illustrate, below I've extended the original pass/fail formula above to handle 'incomplete' results by adding an IF function, and nesting one IF inside the other. Learn nested IFs with.
A nested IF for scales You'll often see nested IFs set up to handle 'scales'.for example, to assign grades, shipping costs, tax rates, or other values that vary on a scale with a numerical input. As long as there aren't too many levels in the scale, nested IFs work fine here, but you must keep the formula organized, or it becomes difficult to read. The trick is to decide a direction (high to low, or low to high), then structure the conditions accordingly. For example, to assign grades in a 'low to high' order, we can represent the solution needed in the following table. Note there is no condition for 'A', because once we've run through all the other conditions, we know the score must be greater than 95, and therefore an 'A'. Score Grade Condition 0-63 F. = (A1 = 100, 'Pass', 'Fail' ) 12.
Add line breaks make nested IFs easy to read When you're working with a formula that contains many levels of nested IFs, it can be tricky to keep things straight. Because Excel doesn't care about 'white space' in formulas (i.e.
Extra spaces or line breaks), you can greatly improve the readability of nested ifs by adding line breaks. For example, the screen below shows a nested IF that calculates a commission rate based on a sales number. Here you can see the typical nested IF structure, which is hard to decipher: However, if I add line breaks before each 'value if false', the logic of the formula jumps out clearly. Plus, the formula is easier to edit: You can add line breaks on Windows with Control + Enter, on a Mac, use Control + Option + Return.
Limit IFs with AND and OR Nested IFs are powerful, but they become complicated quickly as you add more levels. One way to avoid more levels is to use IF in combination with the AND and OR functions. These functions return a simple TRUE/FALSE result that works perfectly inside IF, so you can use them to extend the logic of a single IF.
For example, in the problem below, we want to put an 'x' in column D to mark rows where the color is 'red' and the size is 'small'. We could write the formula with two nested IFs like this. = (E3,B3:C7, 2, 0 ) As a bonus, VLOOKUP keeps values on the worksheet (where they can be easily changed) instead of embedding them in the formula. Although the formula above uses exact matching, you can easily use as well. See also: Video: Video: 15. Choose CHOOSE The CHOOSE function can provide an elegant solution when you need to map simple, consecutive numbers (1,2,3, etc.) to arbitrary values. In the example below, CHOOSE is used to create custom weekday abbreviations: Sure, you could use a long and complicated nested IF to do the same thing, but please don't:) 16.
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