How to Find Largest Negative Value in Excel

Learning how to find the largest negative value in Microsoft Excel is useful to uncover the greatest negative number among a range of data.

You may wonder, how hard it can be to sight the largest negative value in your excel sheet. However, imagine there are hundreds and thousands of lines filled with negative numbers. The formula you learn soon will come in handy in such situations.

In order to find the largest negative value in an excel sheet, the formula consists of a few well-known functions. The formula includes the IF function and the MAX function.

For those who are not familiar with these functions, let’s go through the anatomy of both functions together!

Anatomy of the IF Function

If you want to see if a condition is true or false, the IF function comes in handy.

The role of the IF function in this formula is to filter the data so that only the data that fulfilled the given criteria are sent on to the MAX function.

The syntax of the `IF` function is as follow:

`=IF(logical_expression, value_if_true, [value_if_false])`

Let us look at each term in the formula to understand what they mean:

• `=` is the equal sign which is how we start any function in Microsoft Excel.
• `IF()` this is our IF function. For the function to work, we’ll need to insert the logical_expression, value_if_true, and value_if_false inside the brackets.
• `logical_expression` is the condition we’re trying to determine if it’s true or untrue.
• `value_if_true` is the value that returns if the logical_expression is true.
• `value_if_false` is the value that returns if the logical_expression is false.

Notes on the IF function

The value_if_false element is optional, and you are not required to write anything for it. However, in order for the function to work properly, you must specify the first two components.

Anatomy of the MAX Function

The MAX function is useful when you need to get the maximum value in a numeric dataset.

The role of the MAX function in this formula is to return the largest negative value from the filtered data.

The `MAX` function has the following syntax:

`=MAX(value1, [value2]...)`

Let us look at each term in the formula to understand what they mean:

• `=` is the equal sign which is how we start any function in Microsoft Excel.
• `MAX()` this is our IF function.  It calculates a dataset’s maximum value.
• `value1` is the first value to be examined to discover the maximum value
• `value2,...` are the additional values to be examined to discover the maximum value

To get more in-depth knowledge of these functions, don’t be shy to check our tutorials for both the IF and MAX functions.

Now that we have gone through each of the functions involved, let’s move on to some real-life examples to gain a better understanding!

A Real-Life Example of Finding the Largest Negative Value

Let’s look at a real-life example of finding the largest negative value.

In this example, imagine you are a student studying meteorology. Your research involves Celsius during the winter season in New York. Part of the research requires you to find the highest Degree Celcius during sub-zero temperatures.

Every day, you will record the temperature in the morning, afternoon, and night at the same hours. In order to find the highest Celcius during sub-zero conditions, you need to comb through hundreds of temperatures.

By using this formula with the combination of the IF function and the MAX function, it can easily return the highest temperature in the sub-zero conditions throughout a period.

You may make a copy of the spreadsheet using the link I have attached below.

Once you are ready and understand all the functions involved, we can jump into writing the formula together!

How to Find the Largest Negative Value in Microsoft Excel

This section will go through each step needed to find the largest negative value in Microsoft Excel. The guide below will show you how we can find the highest temperature in sub-zero conditions as spoken in the example earlier.

Follow these steps to start finding the largest negative value:

1. First, let us select the cell that will contain our formula. In this example, we will select J3 to insert the formula in.

1. Next, we simply type the equal sign `=` to begin the function, followed by `MAX(`.

1. Then, we will insert the IF function as well by typing `IF(`.

1. Next, we will type in our arguments. We will select the entire range of Degree Celcius, which is C3:E16. To create the condition that filters only the Celcius lower than zero, we will type opening ankle brackets `<` and `0` to signify lesser of.

1. Next, we will insert a semicolon `;`, followed by selecting the entire range of Degree Celcius again, which is C3:E16.

1. Lastly, we close the formula by inserting two close parentheses `)`. Press Enter and your sheet will look like this.

There you go! By using the combination of these two functions, we can show that -1℃ is the highest temperature at sub-zero conditions in New York.

Do note that this tutorial is done on Excel Online. For those who are using the desktop version, you will need to include the Array Formula for this formula to work.

An array formula can execute numerous computations at once, or one or more calculations multiple times inside a certain cell range.

So all you need to do is follow the steps above, but instead of only pressing Enter, press Shift, Command, and then press Enter

Your formula will look like this:

Don’t forget to check out other cool functions in Microsoft Excel to enhance and simplify work for your everyday use!

Make sure to subscribe to our newsletter to be the first to know about the latest guides and tutorials from us.

Get emails from us about Microsoft Excel.

Our goal this year is to create lots of rich, bite-sized tutorials for Microsoft Excel users like you. If you liked this one, you'd love what we are working on! Readers receive ✨ early access ✨ to new content.

How to Use the Accounting Number Format in Excel

The accounting number format in Excel is useful when you’re working with numbers with a currency symbol. The…

How to Create a Confusion Matrix in Excel

This guide will explain how to create a confusion matrix in Excel. The confusion matrix is a statistical…

How to Fix Cannot Copy Merged Cells in Excel

alsoThis guide will explain how to fix the issue where you can’t copy merged cells in Excel as…

How to Count Filtered Rows in Excel

This guide will discuss how to count filtered rows in Excel using the SUBTOTAL function. The rules for…