Thursday, March 3, 2016


For Office 365 users, there are new features and functions are being added to Excel on a regular basis.  Some of them tend to be a bit esoteric, so unless you are part of a special group, you may not find much interest in the more obscure items.

On the other hand, some of the new functions can have a broad appeal to many Excel Enthusiasts!  One such feature is the new IFS function.

If you are like many Excel users, you have had experience with Nested IF Functions.  This is a powerful (albeit a bit cumbersome) way to extract information from your data subject to multiple conditions.  Happily, the new IFS function can help simplify your life in this regard, as allows you to specify a series of conditions in a single function!

Instead of being tasked with stringing multiple IF functions into a mega-function, (which can be confusing to others who might inherit your work), you can achieve the same results using this valuable new tool.

Using the classic grading system of assignments for an illustration, (which we are all familiar with from our school days…), let’s say that you have a student’s numerical grade in Cell A1.  Using our cool new function, we can construct a formula in Cell B1 as follows:

=IFS(A1>=90, “A”, A1>=80, “B”, A1>= 70, “C”, A1>=60, “D”, A1<60 b="" style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal;">Let’s try this again…”)

If the student’s score in A1 is 82, then (this is quite clear cut…) the result in B1 will be B.  This really is a worthy little enhancement to Excel that can save you time, and make your formulas easier understood by others as well as yourself.  I hope you can give it a try sometime, and see if you agree. 


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