The Excel DMIN Function

Related Function:
Excel Database Functions

The Excel Database Functions are designed to assist you when working with an Excel database.

A database typically takes the form of a large table of data, where each row in the table stores an individual record. Each column in the spreadsheet table stores a different field (or type of information) for each record.

The database functions perform basic operations, such as count, max, min, etc, but they enable the user to specify criteria, so that the operation is performed on selected records only. Other records in the database are ignored.

Function Description

The Excel Dmin function finds the minimum value in a field (column) in a database for selected records only. The records to be included in the calculation are defined by a set of one or more user-specified criteria.

The syntax of the function is:

DMIN( database, field, criteria )

where the arguments are:

database - A range of cells containing the database. The top row of the database should specify the field names.
field -

The field (column) within the database, that you want the minimum of.

This can either be a field number, or can be the field name (i.e. the header in the top row of the database) encased in quotes (e.g. "Area", "Quarter", etc).

criteria -

A range of cells that contain the criteria, to specify which records should be included in the calculation.

The range can include one or more criteria, which are presented as a field name in one cell and the condition for that field in the cell below.

Quarter Area
>1 North


The Excel Database functions allow the following wildcards to be used in text-related criteria:

?    -    matches any single character
*    -    matches any sequence of characters

(If you actually want to find the ? or * character, type the ~ symbol before this character in your search).

E.g. the condition "a*e" will match all cells containing a text string beginning with "a" and ending in "e".

The criteria supplied beneath each field heading can be either:

or or

Note that the Excel database functions are not case sensitive. So, for example, the criteria ="North" will be satisfied by cells containing the text "North" or "north".

Excel Dmin Function Examples

  A B C D E
1 Name Gender Age Subject Score
2 Amy Female 8 Math 63%
3 Amy Female 8 English 78%
4 Amy Female 8 Science 39%
5 Bill Male 8 Math 55%
6 Bill Male 8 English 71%
7 Bill Male 8 Science 51%
8 Sue Female 9 Math 39%
9 Sue Female 9 English 52%
10 Sue Female 9 Science 48%
11 Tom Male 9 Math 78%
12 Tom Male 9 English 69%
13 Tom Male 9 Science 65%

The following examples are based on the above simple database on the right, which stores the examination marks scored by four children in three different subjects.

Example 1

If, from the example database, we wanted to find the lowest score in Science, from students aged over 8, we could use the Dmin function as shown below.

In the example, the criteria are specified in cells G1 - H2 and the Dmin formula is shown in cell G3:

  G H
1 Subject Age
2 Science >8
3 =DMIN( A1:E13, "Score", G1:H2 )

The above Dmin function calculates the minimum value in cells E10 & E13, and therefore returns the value 48%.

Note that, in the above function, instead of typing in "Score" for the field argument, we could have simply used the number 5 (to denote the 5th column of the database).

Example 2

In the example below, the Dmin function is used to find the minimum Math examination score for a male child.

Again, the criteria are specified in cells G1 - H2 and the Dmin formula is shown in cell G3.

  G H
1 Subject Gender
2 Math Male
3 =DMIN( A1:E13, "Score", G1:H2 )

The above Dmin function finds the minimum of the values in cells E5 and E11 and so returns the value 55%.

For further examples of the Excel Dmin function, see the Microsoft Office website.