The Excel MAX Function

Excel Max vs. Excel Maxa

The Excel Max function is very similar to the Excel Maxa 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 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 MAX function returns the largest value from a supplied set of numeric values.

The syntax of the function is:

MAX( 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 Max function, but in Excel 2003, you can only provide up to 30 number arguments.

If an argument is supplied to the function as a reference to a cell, or an array of cells, the Max function will ignore blank cells, and text or logical values contained within the supplied cell range. However, logical values and text representations of numbers that are supplied directly to the function are included in the calculation.


Excel Max Function Example

Cell B1 of the following spreadsheet shows the Excel Max function, used to retrieve the largest value from the set of values in cells A1-A5.

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

Further examples of the Excel Max function are provided on the Microsoft Office website.


Max Function Error

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

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