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Determining the Least Common Multiple

Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. If you are using a later version (Excel 2007 or later), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for later versions of Excel, click here: Determining the Least Common Multiple.

Remember your junior-high math classes? The teacher would write three or four numbers on the chalkboard and ask you to determine what larger number each of the numbers on the board could be a factor of. For instance, if the numbers were 2, 3,and 4, then the are all factors of the number 12. Thus, 12 is the least common multiple of those three numbers.

Things got really difficult when the teacher threw up six, seven, or ten numbers. Yikes! Fortunately, Excel makes calculating the least common multiple rather easy. All you need to do is put the numbers in a range of cells, and then use a formula like this:

=LCM(C20:C23)

In just a jiffy Excel returns a value that, sure enough, would have made that math teacher proud.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (2306) applies to Microsoft Excel 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. You can find a version of this tip for the ribbon interface of Excel (Excel 2007 and later) here: Determining the Least Common Multiple.

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