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How to Nest Microsoft Excel Worksheet Functions

How to Nest Microsoft Excel Worksheet Functions

Microsoft Excel Tutorial

Nesting Microsoft Excel Worksheet functions in a formula is the key to developing advanced formulas for dashboards, models and data processing tools in Excel.

Excel Worksheet Function Nesting Overview

When sophisticated calculations have to be performed in a worksheet cell, the need will arise to nest Excel functions in a single formula. This saves worksheet space as only one cell is used to do multiple operations. The simple concept behind nesting functions is to place the function syntax that runs the function in the argument list of another function in the same formula. This allows the inside function to calculate first then feed its result value to the function whose argument list it was placed in.

For example, say you are trying to use the DATEVALUE function which takes a date and converts it to its serial number equivalent. The date it is going to use is stored in another cell and will be accessed by cell reference. The only problem is the DATEVALUE function needs its argument to be a piece of text and the date in the cell is not a piece of text. Well the solution to the problem is to first convert the cell reference date value to a piece of text using the TEXT function then use that as an argument to the DATEVALUE function. The formula below demonstrates this concept. Note that the value coming from A1 is a date like 4/1/2012.

=DATEVALUE( TEXT(A1, "m/d/yyyy") ).

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