Finding the biggest number or smallest number using Excel

AUTHOR:  JASON MORRELL 

Jason Morrell

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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:

=MAX(A1,A2,A3)
=MAX(A1:A10)
=MAX(TestScores)

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:

=MIN(B1,B2,B3)
=MIN(B1:B10)
=MIN(DepartmentSpend)

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:

=MAX(A1:A10)

3. What next?

Please feel free to post any questions you have into the comments below. And before you leave this page, I want to give you one quick little action item! 

ACTION ITEM: Comment below with ONE thing you picked up from this post and share how it has helped, or will help, you. It's good to share your successes because it encourages others and provides an instant boost.

Enjoy the rest of your day!

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About Jason Morrell

About the author

Jason Morrell


Jason loves to simplify the hard stuff, cut the fluff and share what actually works. Things that make a difference. Things that slash hours from your daily work tasks. He runs a software training business in Queensland, Australia, lives on the Gold Coast with his wife and 4 kids and often talks about himself in the third person!

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