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: Finding the Lowest Numbers.
by Allen Wyatt
(last updated December 13, 2014)
You may have a need at some point to find the lowest numbers in a list of values. This is relatively easy to do if you use the SMALL worksheet function. The function takes two parameters: the range of the values to be evaluated and an indicator of which smallest number you want. For instance, the following will return the second lowest number in the range of A1:A100:
If you wanted to know the two lowest numbers in the range, then use two formulas containing the SMALL function—one with 1 as the second parameter (for the lowest number) and one with 2 as the second parameter (for the second lowest number).
There are situations, of course, where the two smallest numbers in the range could actually be the same number. For instance, if the lowest number is 3 and there is a second 3 in the list, then both the lowest numbers will be the same. If you want the two lowest unique numbers then you will need to use a macro to determine them.
Function SMALLn(rng As Range, n) Application.Volatile SMALLn = False If n < 1 Then Exit Function Dim i As Long, j As Long, k As Long, min, arr, arr2 arr = Application.Transpose(rng) ReDim arr2(n - 1) min = Application.WorksheetFunction.Min(arr) j = UBound(arr) k = 0 arr2(k) = min For i = 1 To j If Application.Small(arr, i) <> arr2(k) Then k = k + 1 arr2(k) = Application.Small(arr, i) If k = n - 1 Then SMALLn = arr2(k) Exit For End If End If Next i End Function
This user-defined function is used in the following manner:
When called like this, the function returns the second lowest unique value in the specified range.
ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (10944) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007, 2010, and 2013. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Excel here: Finding the Lowest Numbers.
Solve Real Business Problems Master business modeling and analysis techniques with Excel and transform data into bottom-line results. This hands-on, scenario-focused guide shows you how to use the latest Excel tools to integrate data from multiple tables. Check out Microsoft Excel 2013 Data Analysis and Business Modeling today!
When you filter data, Excel displays only a portion of what is really in a worksheet. If you want to count the number of ...Discover More
The COMBIN function is used to determine the number of combinations that can be made from a group of elements. This tip ...Discover More
The PROPER worksheet function is used to change the case of text so that only the first letter of each word is uppercase. ...Discover More
FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."
Got a version of Excel that uses the ribbon interface (Excel 2007 or later)? This site is for you! If you use an earlier version of Excel, visit our ExcelTips site focusing on the menu interface.