Dec
7

Excel nested IF - multiple conditions in a single formula

The tutorial explains how to use multiple IF in Excel and provides a couple of nested If formula examples for most common tasks.

If someone asks you what Excel function you use most often, what would your answer be? In most cases, it's the Excel IF function. A regular If formula that tests a single condition is very straightforward and easy to write. But what if your data requires more elaborate logical tests with multiple conditions? In this case, you can include several IF functions in one formula, and these multiple If statements are called Excel Nested IF. The biggest advantage of the nested If construction is that it allows you to check more than one condition and return different values depending on the results of those checks, all in a single formula.

In modern versions of Excel 2016, Excel 2013, Excel 2010 and Excel 2007, you can nest up to 64 IF functions in one formula. In Excel 2003 and lower, up to 7 nested IF functions can be used.

Further on in this tutorial, you will find a couple of Excel nested If examples along with the detailed explanation of their syntax and logic.

Example 1. Classic nested IF formula

Here's a typical example of Excel If with multiple conditions. Supposing you have a list of students in column A and their exam scores in column B, and you want to classify the scores with the following conditions:

  • Excellent: Over 249
  • Good: between 249 and 200, inclusive
  • Satisfactory: between 199 and 150, inclusive
  • Poor: Under 150

And now, let's write a nested IF function based on the above criteria. It's considered a good practice to begin with the most important condition and keep your functions as simple as possible. Our Excel nested IF formula goes as follows:

=IF(B2>249, "Excellent", IF(B2>=200, "Good", IF(B2>150, "Satisfactory", "Poor")))

And works exactly as it should:

Classic nested IF formula

Understanding Excel nested IF logic

I've heard some people say that Excel multiple If is driving them crazy :) Try looking at it at a different angle:

Nested If formula logic

What the formula actually tells Excel to do is to evaluate the logical_test of the first IF function and, if the condition is met, return the value supplied in the  value_if_true argument. If the condition of the 1st If function is not met, then test the 2nd If statement, and so on.

IF(check if B2>=249, if true - return "Excellent", or else 
IF(check if B2>=200, if true - return "Good", or else
IF(check if B2>150, if true - return "Satisfactory", if false -
return
 "Poor")))

The order of conditions is important

A few paragraphs above, we pointed out that the most important conditions should be listed first, and you probably asked yourself why's that? The point is that Excel nested If tests conditions in the order they appear in the formula, and as soon as any condition is met, the subsequent conditions are not evaluated.

Now, let's see what it means in practice. If we wrote the above nested IF formula in the reverse order, it won't work. Microsoft Excel would begin evaluating the formula with the smaller condition that comes first, and display "Satisfactory" for any number greater than 150. That way it would never come to evaluating "Good" and "Excellent" conditions. So, when thinking over your nested IF logic, remember that the order of conditions matters!

Example 2. Multiple If with arithmetic calculations

Here's another typical task: the unit price varies depending on the specified quantity, and your goal is to write a formula that calculates the total price for any amount of items input in a specific cell. In other words, your formula needs to check multiple conditions and perform different calculations depending on what amount range the specified quantity falls in:

Unit Quantity Price per unit
1 to 10 $20
11 to 19 $18
20 to 49 $16
50 to 100 $13
Over 101 $12

This task can also be accomplished by using multiple IF functions. The logic is the same as in the above example, the only difference is that you multiply the specified quantity by the value returned by nested IFs (i.e. the corresponding price per unit).

Assuming the user enters the quantity in cell B8, the formula is as follows:

=B8*IF(B8>=101, 12, IF(B8>=50, 13, IF(B8>=20, 16, IF( B8>=11, 18, IF(B8>=1, 20, "")))))

And the result will look something similar to this:

Nested IF formula to perform different calculations on numbers within a certain range

As you understand, this example demonstrates only the general approach, and you can easily customize this nested If function depending on your particular task.

For example, instead of "hard-coding" the prices in the formula, you can reference the cells containing those values (cells B2 to B6). This will enable your users to edit the source data without having to update the formula:

=B8*IF(B8>=101,B6, IF(B8>=50, B5, IF(B8>=20, B4, IF( B8>=11, B3, IF(B8>=1, B2, "")))))

An improved formula with multiple IF functions

Or, you may want to include an additional IF function(s) that fixes an upper, lower or both bounds of the amount range. When the quantity is outside the range, the formula will display an "out of the range" message. For example:

=IF(OR(B8>200,B8<1), "Qty. out of range", B8*IF(B8>=101,12, IF(B8>=50, 13, IF(B8>=20, 16, IF( B8>=11, 18, IF(B8>=1, 20, ""))))))

Nested IF's formula with fixed bounds

The nested IF formulas described above work in all versions of Excel 2016 -2000. In Excel 2016 that is part of Office 365 subscriptions, you can use the IFS function for the same purpose.

Advanced Excel users that are familiar with array formulas, can use this formula that basically does the same thing as the nested IF function discussed above. Though the array formula is far more difficult to comprehend, let along to write, it has one indisputable advantage - you specify the range of cells containing your conditions rather than referencing each condition individually. This makes the formula more flexible, and if your users happen to change any of the existing conditions or add a new one, you will only have to update a single range reference in the formula.

Excel nested IF - things to remember

As you have just seen, there is no rocket science in using multiple IF in Excel. To improve your nested IF formulas and prevent common mistakes, just keep in mind these 3 simple facts:

  1. In Excel 2016 - 2007, you can nest up to 64 conditions. In older versions of Excel 2003 and lower, up to 7 nested IF functions can be used.
  2. Mind the order of conditions in your Excel multiple If formula - if the first condition is TRUE the subsequent conditions are not tested (please see this example for more details).
  3. If your formula includes more than 5 nested IF functions, you may want to optimize it by using one of the alternatives described below.

Alternatives to nested IF in Excel

To get around the limit of seven nested IF functions in older Excel versions and to make your formulas more compact and fast, consider using the following alternatives to Excel If with multiple conditions.

  1. To test many conditions, use LOOKUP, VLOOKUPINDEX/MATCH or CHOOSE functions.
  2. Use IF with logical functions OR / AND, as demonstrated in the these examples.
  3. Use an array formula like shown in this example.
  4. Use the CONCATENATE function or the concatenate operator (&).

    As well as other Excel functions, CONCATENATE can include as many as 30 arguments in older Excel versions and up to 255 arguments in Excel 2016 - 2007, which equates to testing 255 different conditions.

    For example, to return different results depending on the value in cell B2, you can use any of the following formulas:

    Nested IF:
    =IF(B2>249, "Excellent", IF(B2>=200, "Good", IF(B2>150, "Satisfactory", "Poor ")))

    CONCATENATE function:
    =CONCATENATE(IF(C1="a", "Excellent", ""), IF(C1="b", "Good", ""), IF(C1="c", "Poor ", ""))

    Concatenate operator:
    =IF(B2="a", "Excellent", "") & IF(B2="b", "Good", "") & IF(B2="c", "Poor ", "") & IF(B2="d", "Poor ", "")

    As you see in the screenshot below, the use of CONCATENATE does not make the formula shorter, but it does make it easier-to-understand compared to nested IF's.

    Concatenate operator

  5. For powerful Excel users, the best alternative to using multiple nested IF functions might be creating a custom worksheet function using VBA.

This is how you use an If formula in Excel with multiple conditions. To have a closer look and probably reverse engineer the formulas, you are welcome to download the sample Nested If Excel worksheet. I thank you for reading and hope to see you on our blog next week.

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157 Responses to "Excel nested IF - multiple conditions in a single formula"

  1. MD Rasel Sarder says:

    Hello, Ms. Svetlana Cheusheva,

    Your IF condition articles are really helpful and much appreciated, I will be so grateful to you if you please help me out to set up this formula…..

    I have several dates on a sheet in a column (e.g. 18/02/2018, 27/02/2018, 29/03/2018) What I want is deduct 10 days from every date and after deducting 10 days I need to check back for the date on Saturday. For example 18/02/2018 Minus (-) 10 days = 08/02/2018, now I check back for the date on Saturday, that is 03/02/2018. 3rd February 2018 will be my result. And another example for the date 29/03/2018 where the result will be 17/03/2018. Can you please help me to build this formula?

    Thank you in advance.

  2. kristi says:

    I have a formula that looks like this in a spread sheet +AZ3*IF)'YTD ALL'!$R$^'Overtime FY17'!AZ$1,'YTD ALL'!$R$6, 'YTD ALL'!$D$6))

    What does this mean? I understand that the "YTD ALL' is another sheet being referenced but I can't figure what it is pulling.

    Apparently the person whose position was more well versed on Excel than I am.

    Thank you in advance

  3. Kate Barsi says:

    I am trying to create a formula that evaluates multiple cells in the same row that will determine if any of the cells in that range have a no, then a file is failing. I'm using this: =if(countif(A2:H2,"No"),,"Fail","Pass")

    It works for a smaller range, but not a larger range....

    Is there another way to do this?

  4. Yayan Sulton Auliyaa says:

    Hi admin, I have a case to count between 2 column where these columns has date format, and each columns has different input,I need to count distance between 2 column with condition where ,ex : A1 to B1 has 4 days distance the result is "Done" Where condition 1 Day = 8 hours , and we have to achieve min 20 Hours to get "done" status.

    Please Help me :(

  5. Rinks says:

    Hi,
    I need help for complex formula, tried using AND, OR, Search with IF but not able to get the result.
    I have a Report data which I have converted into Table, in Column C under the Header "Assignment Group" there are country listed HRss Brazil uat, HRss Portuguese ant, HRss Spain hat, Hrss Italy amt and HRss BR sat. So I was trying this formula:

    =IF(ISERROR(SEARCH("Portu",[Assignment group])),"True", IF("BR",[Assignment group],"False")) - what I want to do is if the country is Brazil or Portuguese or BR then the formula should return to False and rest should be True.
    Please if you can help me it will be great, I have be trying multiple combination but to no avail it returning to "#Valid"

    Many thanks in Advance
    Rinks

  6. asif says:

    100,000.00 500,000.00 10% 225 one lac to 5-lac than 10% and plus 225
    500,000.00 1,000,000.00 15% 1225 5-lac to 10-lac than 15% and plus 1125
    1,000,000.00 2,000,000.00 18% 2225
    2,000,000.00 3,000,000.00 20% 3225
    Sr No Name of Annual income
    1 waseem 3,500,000.00 350,225.00
    2 waqas 4,000,000.00 400,225.00
    3 waqar 500,000.00 50,225.00
    4 aslam 1,000,000.00 100,225.00
    5 abid 1,500,000.00 150,225.00
    6 abdullah 2,000,000.00 200,225.00
    7 rehman 2,500,000.00 250,225.00
    8 zar 3,000,000.00 300,225.00
    9 tahir 5,000,000.00 500,225.00
    10 altaf 6,000,000.00 600,225.00
    11 shams 300,000.00 30,225.00
    12 pak 800,000.00 80,225.00
    13 lah 900,000.00 90,225.00
    14 pun 6,500,000.00 650,225.00
    15 aus 9,000,000.00 900,225.00
    16 can 1,200,000.00 120,225.00

    please help me i put this formula but not get success.
    =IF(AND(C6=$B$1,C6,$A$2,C6>=$B$2,C6>$A$3,C6>=$B$3,C6>$A$4,C6>=$B$4),"",(C6*10%)+225)

    thanking you anybody help me.

  7. Carolyn Brown says:

    I have a spreadsheet that I need help with. I have two columns, one is Regular and one is Overtime. I need the Overtime column to calculate for anything over 40 in the regular, but I need the regular column to change to 40.
    example....
    Employee has a total of 47 regular hours in column H, I need for column I which is the Overtime column to show the sum of H-40=I, but then for column H to show 40.
    Is this possible and if so how.
    basically in my mind it's If H is >40 then I would be equal to anything >40 and H = 40
    Am I crazy or can this be done?

    • Patrick says:

      Carolyn Brown:

      Do you manually put the hours in the regular and overtime columns or are there cell references for each column for each employee that populate automatically in those cells in the given work period?

      I don't remember anything before Excel 2013 so this maybe not work if you use a version older than that. I will also answer this assuming that hours populate automatically with cell references for each employee and cells B through G have the total hours worked each day from Monday to Saturday.

      For the regular hour column you can setup an IF statement.
      =IF(sum(B2:G2)40,sum(B2:G2)-40," ")

      You can also setup a data validation in the regular hours column. You can set it where only numerical values can be entered in that column and the value cannot be greater than 40.

    • Patrick says:

      Carolyn Brown:

      IF(sum(B2:G2)<=40,sum(B2:G2),40) 40,sum(B2:G2)-40," ") <---Overtime Hours Column (should be greater than 40)

  8. Ganesh says:

    Hi,
    Articles are quite good and knowledgeable.
    Can yo help me with logical functions
    I have some specific data for input diameter, input thickness output diameter and output thickness. based on these values I have to select the speed and feed for machine, which function I have to use, so that formula can check for given input and out put parameters what speed and feed to be selected?

  9. Patrick says:

    Carolyn:

    I hope on your end what I am saying comes up correctly because on my computer once I hit send, some of what I've written is cut off.

  10. Yana says:

    Thanks. This has been pretty useful. I'm trying to create a formula for a document thats over 7000 cells long. Would this negatively affect the formulae? I keep getting an Value? error.

  11. Anonymous says:

    How would you explain to someone who is unfamiliar with Excel how to read a nested statement that contains 3 different conditions??

    • Hi!

      I will try to explain the logic on an example of the first formula in this tutorial:

      =IF(B2>249, "Excellent", IF(B2>=200, "Good", IF(B2>150, "Satisfactory", "Poor")))

      Translated into plain English, the formula does the following:

      1st IF: Evaluates the 1st condition (if B2 is greater than 249). If the condition is met (if B2>249), returns "Excellent", otherwise proceeds to the 2nd condition.

      2nd IF: Checks if B2 is greater than or equal to 200. If it is, returns "Good", otherwise proceeds to the 3rd condition.

      3rd IF: Checks if B2 is greater than 150. If it is, returns "Satisfactory", otherwise returns "Poor".

      In other words, the formula reads as follows:

      If B2>249, return "Excellent", otherwise check if B2>=200
      If B2>=200, return "Good", otherwise check if B2>150
      IF B2>150, return ""Satisfactory", otherwise return "Poor"

  12. Mohamed says:

    I have a question
    trying to create a nested a nested formula with 3 arguments
    if A>720, B>16, C"IV" display RUX
    please help

  13. Ava says:

    What if I have multiple overtime pay rates. For example, I want to calculate the total pay for 64 hours worked with these conditions:
    -30 hours or less= $9.50 per hour
    -More than 30 and less than 51=$12.50 per hour
    -51 or more and less than 61=$15.50 per hour
    -61 or more=$18 per hour

    So for hour 1-30, I get paid 285. For hours 31-50, I get paid 237.50, etc. until I'm up to hour 64. I should have a total of 734 but I'm not sure how I would write the formula

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