Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 2007, 2010, and 2013. If you are using an earlier version (Excel 2003 or earlier), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for earlier versions of Excel, click here: Returning the Smallest Non-Zero Value.

Returning the Smallest Non-Zero Value

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated October 4, 2014)

8

Mark is hoping to find the smallest non-zero value in a set of values. For example, if he has the values 0,0,3,0,6,8, he would want the value 3 (the smallest non-zero value) returned by a formula. Mark knows he can use the SMALL function with the second argument calculated by using a COUNTIF to count the number of zeroes in the range. However, he wants to use this inside of an array formula, and Excel can't handle COUNTIFs inside of array formulas.

Since Mark is only interested in array formulas (entered by pressing Ctrl+Shift+Enter), then there are a couple that could be used. The following array formula is worth looking at first:

=MIN(IF(A1:A5=0,MAX(A1:A5),A1:A5))

Assuming the values to be examined are in A1:A5, this formula puts together an array of non-zero values from that range. If the value in one of the cells is 0, then the MAX function kicks in, returning the largest value from the range. (This essentially kicks the value at that cell—originally 0—out of consideration as the smallest value.) If the value in one of the cells is not 0, then the actual value is returned. The MIN function then returns the lowest value from the array.

You can make the formula even shorter by turning it around in this manner:

=MIN(IF(A1:A5<>0,A1:A5))

Note that in this version, the value in each cell of the range is checked to see if it isn't 0. If it isn't, then the value is returned. If it is 0, then nothing is returned. Again, the MIN function is used to return the lowest value from the array.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (9330) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007, 2010, and 2013. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Excel here: Returning the Smallest Non-Zero Value.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He  is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

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Comments

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What is nine more than 8?

2016-11-30 15:04:36

TerryG

Awesome, thank you so much!!

Ditto on the Ctrl+Shift+Enter AFTER entering the formula, or it won't work!!


2016-08-25 00:19:05

Ayush

Thanks a lot ! Just remember to press ctrl+shift+enter after entering the formula. Otherwise it wont work.


2016-05-20 06:17:43

Michael (Micky) Avidan

@Rod,
The following example is more appropriate.
(see Figure 1 below)

Figure 1. 


2016-05-20 06:15:13

Michael (Micky) Avidan

@Rod,
Both work EXACTLY(!) as expected.
(see Figure 1 below)

Figure 1. 


2016-05-19 06:50:45

Rod bennett

These did not work for me. I had to use the small function. I am using Excel 2013;

=MIN(IF(A1:A5=0,MAX(A1:A5),A1:A5)) returns the maximum value

=MIN(IF(A1:A5<>0,A1:A5)) returns zero


2016-02-14 05:24:01

Mags

Thanks Willy, entering the formula with Ctrl+Shift+Enter got it right.


2015-11-26 12:09:31

Willy Vanhaelen

Did you enter the formula with Ctrl+Shift+Enter?


2015-11-25 19:38:31

tiki

None of the above worked.
I have four vendor columns some with prices some with $00.00, but none of the the formulas that I have tracked down can go to the next low number if it has a $00.00 value in the cell. I have tried about twenty or so combinations.


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