In other words, the general concept of nesting is that the “outer” formula is doing something useful and the “inner” formula is providing something the “outer” formula needs to do the job. Usually, the inner function(s) make it possible to avoid hard-coding information into the “outer” function, since hard-coding makes a formula less useful and portable.


In the example shown, the formula in D4 uses nesting to calculate the current age of a person based on their birthdate: In this formula, the TODAY function is nested inside of the YEARFRAC function, which is nested inside the INT function. The TODAY function returns the current date, which is passed into the YEARFRAC function as the “end date”. The start date is provided by cell C4. YEARFRAC returns a decimal value like this in D4: whis is passed directly the INT function. The INT function removes the decimal portion of the number and returns 18 as a final result.

More examples of nesting

Nesting is a common technique in more advanced Excel formulas. Here are a few more examples:

Basic INDEX and MATCH IF this AND that Cell contains specific text Working days in year


Dave Bruns

Hi - I’m Dave Bruns, and I run Exceljet with my wife, Lisa. Our goal is to help you work faster in Excel. We create short videos, and clear examples of formulas, functions, pivot tables, conditional formatting, and charts.