# Calculate the smallest or largest number in a range

Let's say you want to find out who has the the smallest error rate in a production run at a factory or the largest salary in your department. There are several ways to calculate the smallest or largest number in a range.

### What do you want to do?

If the cells are in a contiguous row or column

If the cells are not in a contiguous row or column

## If the cells are in a contiguous row or column

1. Select a cell below or to the right of the numbers for which you want to find the smallest number.
2. Click the arrow next to AutoSum , and then click Min (calculates the smallest), or Max (calculates the largest), and then press ENTER.

## If the cells are not in a contiguous row or column

To do this task, use the MIN, MAX, SMALL, or LARGE functions.

## Example

The example may be easier to understand if you copy it to a blank worksheet.

1. Create a blank workbook or worksheet.
2. Select the example in the Help topic.

Note   Do not select the row or column headers.

Selecting an example from Help
1. Press CTRL+C.
2. In the worksheet, select cell A1, and press CTRL+V.
3. To switch between viewing the results and viewing the formulas that return the results, press CTRL+` (grave accent), or on the Formulas tab, in the Formula Auditing group, click the Show Formulas button.
A
Data
10
7
9
27
0
4
Formula Description (Result)
=MIN(A2:A7) Smallest number in the range (0)
=MAX(A2:A7) Largest number in the range (27)
=SMALL(A2:A7, 2) Second smallest number in the range (4)
=LARGE(A2:A7,3) Third largest number in the range (9)

LARGE

MAX

MIN

SMALL

Applies to:
Excel 2003