The Excel MAXA Function

Excel Max vs. Excel Maxa

The Excel Maxa function is very similar to the Excel Max Function.

The only difference between the two functions arises when an argument is supplied to the function as a reference to a cell or an array of cells.

In this case the Max Function function ignores logical and text values, while the Maxa function counts the logical value TRUE as 1, the logical value FALSE as 0 and text values as 0.

Basic Description

The Excel MAXA function returns the largest value from a supplied set of numeric values, while counting text and the logical value FALSE as the value 0 and counting the logical value TRUE as the value 1.

The syntax of the function is:

MAXA( number1, [number2], ... )

where the number arguments are one or more numeric values (or arrays of numeric values), that you want to return the largest value of.

In current versions of Excel (Excel 2007 & later), you can provide up to 255 number arguments to the Maxa function, but in Excel 2003, the function can only accept up to 30 number arguments.


Excel Maxa Function Example

Example 1

In cell B1 of the following spreadsheet, the Excel Maxa function has been used to retrieve the largest value from the set of values in cells A1-A5.

 Formulas:
 AB
14=MAXA( A1:A5 )
23 
31 
45 
52 
 Results:
 AB
145
23 
31 
45 
52 

Example 2

In cell B1 of the following spreadsheet, the Excel Maxa function has been used to retrieve the largest value from the set of values in cells A1-A3.

Note that, the value TRUE in cell A1 of the spreadsheet is treated as the numeric value 1 by the Maxa function. Therefore, this is the largest value in the range A1-A3.

 Formulas:
 AB
1TRUE=MAXA( A1:A3 )
20 
3-1 
 Results:
 AB
1TRUE1
20 
3-1 

Further examples of the Excel Maxa function can be found on the Microsoft Office website.


Maxa Function Error

If you get an error from the Excel Maxa Function, this is likely to be the #VALUE! error:

Common Error
#VALUE!-Occurs if any values that are supplied directly to the Maxa function are non-numeric.