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Smaller of two values in Excel

This tutorial shows how to calculate Smaller of two values in Excel using the example below;

To get the smaller, or lesser, of two values, you can use the MIN function.

Formula

=MIN(value1,value2)

Explanation

In the example shown, the formula in D5 is:

=MIN(B5,C5)

How this formula works

The MIN function is fully automatic – it returns the smallest value in the numbers provided. In this case, we give MIN function two values:

=MIN(B5,C5)

and MIN returns the smaller value.

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Elegant alternative to IF

The MIN function can be a compact and elegant replacement for the IF function. For example, the formula above can be written with IF like so:

=IF(B5<=C5,B5,C5)

However, the MIN version is 6 characters shorter (11 vs. 17), and contains no redundant references, so it is less prone to errors.

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