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Finding the biggest number or smallest number using Excel

Jason Morrell

by Jason Morrell 
January 22, 2015

Finding the biggest number or smallest number

Finding the biggest number within a range of Excel cells is super easy.

Same for picking the smallest number.

There are many situations where you need to find the biggest/smallest, highest/lowest, longest/shortest value in a set of data. For example,

  • Which employee has taken the most sick days this year?
  • What has been the largest expense this year?
  • What is the lowest cost per lead from our advertising campaigns?

1.  How to find the biggest number in Excel

Use the MAX function to find the biggest number in a list (or tallest, longest, most etc.)

=MAX(number1, number 2 …)

For example:


2. How to find the smallest number in Excel

Use the MIN function to find the smallest number in a list (or shortest, lowest, least etc.)

=MIN(number1, number 2 …)

For example:


The MAX and MIN functions can be selected from the AutoSum drop down menu, or by typing it directly into the cell.

Let’s say you have values in cells A1 to A10,

To use the AutoSum tool:

1.       Select the 10 cells.

2.      Click the drop-down arrow on the AutoSum icon.

3.      Choose MAX or MIN.

Or if you want to write the formula manually:

1.       Select a blank cell that will contain the extracted value.

2.      Type ‘=MAX(’ or ‘=MIN(’.

3.      With your mouse, select the range of cells that contains your data.

4.      Type the closing bracket.

5.      Press Enter.

Using either technique, the final formula will look like:


3. What next?

I hope you found plenty of value in this post. I'd love to hear your biggest takeaway in the comments below together with any questions you may have.

Have a fantastic day.

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About Jason Morrell

About the author

Jason Morrell

Jason Morrell is a professional trainer, consultant and course creator who lives on the glorious Gold Coast in Queensland, Australia.

He helps people of all levels unleash and leverage the power contained within Microsoft Office by delivering training, troubleshooting services and taking on client projects. He loves to simplify tricky concepts and provide helpful, proven, actionable advice that can be implemented for quick results.

Purely for amusement he sometimes talks about himself in the third person.


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