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Sum bottom n values in Excel

This tutorial shows how to Sum bottom n values in Excel. You can use a combination of SUMPRODUCT function and SMALL function to get the sum bottom  n values in the example below;




If you need to sum or add the bottom values in a range, you can do so with a formula that uses the SMALL function wrapped inside the SUMPRODUCT function. In the generic form of the formula (above), rng represents a range of cells that contain numeric values and n represents the idea of nth value.

In the example, the active cell contains this formula:


How this formula works

In its simplest form, SMALL will return the “nth smallest” value in a range. For example, the formula:

=SMALL (A1:A10, 2)

will return the 2nd smallest value in the range A1:A10 which, in the example above, is the number 2.

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However, if you supply an “array constant” (e.g. a constant in the form {1,2,3}) to SMALL as the second argument , SMALL will return an array of results instead of a single result. So, the formula:

=SMALL (A1:A10, {1,2,3})

Will return the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd largest value in the range A1:A10. In the example above, where A1:A10 contains the numbers 1-10, the result from SMALL will be the array {1,2,3}. SUMPRODUCT then sums the numbers in this array and returns a total, which is 6.

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Using SUMPRODUCT avoids the complexity of entering an array formula, but it is still processing arrays. You can also write an array formula directly using SUM like so:


Note that you must enter this formula as an array formula.

Large N

When N becomes large it becomes tedious to create the array constant by hand – if you want to sum to the bottom 20 or 30 values in a big list of values, typing out an array constant with 20 or 30 items will take a long time. In this case, you can use a shortcut for building the array constant that uses the ROW and INDIRECT functions. For example, if you want to SUM the bottom 20 values in a range called “rng” you can write a formula like this:


Variable N in another cell

To set up the a formula where N is a variable in another cell, you can concatenate inside INDIRECT. For example, if A1 contains N, you can use:


This allows a user to change the value of N directly on the worksheet.

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