The MIN function in Excel extracts the smallest value from 2 or more cells or cell ranges. In this post, you'll discover 2 ways to create a MIN formula with examples that you can dissect.
1. Example 1: How to write a basic MIN function in Excel
Consider this simple data:
To extract the smallest value from this range, regardless of the order in which they may, or may not, be sorted, using a MIN function:
1. Type =MIN(
2. Select cells A1:A5 with the mouse (you can type the cell range but then you may get human error)
3. Type the closing bracket and press Enter.
This calculates the minimum, 10.
2. Anatomy of a MIN function
- Every formula starts with '='.
- MIN tells Excel what to do with the data, i.e. find the smallest number.
- The cells or cell ranges inside the brackets tell Excel what to check.
Here are some examples:
3. Example 2: How to generate a MIN using AutoSum
The AutoSUM button is the beginner's best friend. You'll find it on the Home ribbon.
1. Select the range of cells you wish to check to find the lowest figure, or select the blank cell that will contain the result.
2. Click the AutoSUM button then choose MIN.
3. Excel writes the MIN function for you. Press Enter to lock it in.
4. Example 3: How to find the smallest number in summed data
If you already have data that has been summed, you can analyse this data to find the minimum value. In the example below, every 3 months the quarterly column shows the 3-monthly totals. Columns D and H contain SUM functions for each row.
To find the lowest quarterly figure, the MIN function refers to the cell ranges D2:D6 and H2:H6.
5. 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.