How to Use If and Nested If in Google Sheets

Learning how to use nested IF functions in Google Sheets is useful when you need to add more complex logic to your spreadsheet.

Nested IFs refer to formulas that include IF statements inside other IF statements. This structure allows us to come up with more complex checks.

The IF function is useful when you want data in a certain cell to depend on whether a certain conditional statement is True or False. Nesting multiple IF functions together allows us to make multiple conditional checks in a single formula.

Let’s take a look at a scenario where we can use nested IF functions.

We have a list of museum attendants, and we’d like to figure out how much to charge them per ticket. We want to charge people below 18 and senior citizens with a $12 ticket. Regular admission will be priced at $20. How can we do this?

It becomes quite easy to recreate this logic on a spreadsheet with nested IF functions. We can have an IF statement that checks if the attendant’s age is below 18 and another that checks if they are above 65.

This use case is just one way to use nested IF functions in Google Sheets. Now that we know when to use them, let’s learn how to write nested IF functions on an actual sample spreadsheet.



A Real Example of Nested IF Functions in Google Sheets

Let’s look at a real example of nested IF functions used in Google Sheets spreadsheet.

Below is a list of 25 ticket holders and their corresponding ages. We used the IF statement to compute the ticket price in column B. If the ticket holder is less than 18 years of age, they’ll be charged $12, and if they’re 18 and above, they’ll be charged $20.

we can use Nested IF Functions in Google Sheets to add more rules


To get the values in Column B, we just need to use the following formula:


What if we want to also give a discount to senior citizens? We can give the formula two conditional checks using a nested IF statement. In the example below, we’ve added the rule that any ticket holder older than 65 will be charged $12 per ticket.

Nested IF Functions in Google Sheets helps create multiple conditionals


To get these values in Column B, we just need to use the following formula:

=IF(A2<18,12, IF(A2<65,12,20))

You can make your copy of the spreadsheet above using the link attached below. 

If you’re ready to try using nested IF functions in Google Sheets, let’s start writing it step-by-step!



How to Use Nested IF Functions in Google Sheets

This section will go through each step needed to start using nested IFs in Google Sheets. This guide will show you how to use multiple conditionals to apply complex logic to your worksheet.

Follow these steps to start using nested IF functions:

  1. First, select the cell that will hold the result of our IF statement. In this example, we’ll start with cell B2.
    select cell to write formula
  2. Next, we just simply type the equal sign ‘=‘ to begin the function, followed by ‘IF(‘. 
  3. You may find a tooltip box with hints on using the IF function. Click on the arrow found on the top-right-hand corner to minimize it if needed.
    use Nested IF Functions in Google Sheets by typing the formula
  4. Next, we need to write the first conditional to check. In our example, we’ll first do a check if our value in column A is less than 18.
  5. The second argument will be the value of the ticket if the first argument is True. If the value of A2 is less than 18, then the formula will evaluate to $12.
    Formula returns $12 if conditional is true
  6. Next, we’ll write the nested IF in our third argument. Similarly, this nested IF checks the value in column A for a specific condition. In this example, we want to check if their age is over 65.
  7. For the last argument in the nested IF function, we add the price if we get False in the previous two checks. If our attendants are neither below 18 or above 65, they’ll pay for a $20 ticket.
    defaults to 20 if both conditionals return false
  8. Lastly, we drag down the formula to fill out the rest of the column.
    final result of Nested IF Functions in Google Sheets



Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

  1. Is there an easier way to write out nested IF functions?
    Writing long nested IFs might become difficult to maintain or understand. You can look into trying the IFS function to evaluate a set of expressions without using any nested IFs.

    With the IFS function we convert something like =IF(A2<18, 12, IF(A2>65, 12, 20)) into =IFS(A2<18,12,A2>65,12,A2<=65,20)



That’s all you need to remember to start using nested IFs in Google Sheets. This step-by-step guide shows how easy it is to use multiple conditionals to create complex logical rules for your spreadsheet. 

You can use Nested IF functions with other Google Sheets functions to create powerful spreadsheets.

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