Excel.Tips.Net ExcelTips (Menu Interface)

Finding the Lowest Numbers

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: Finding the Lowest Numbers.

You may have a need at some point to find the lowest numbers in a list of values. This is relatively easy to do if you use the SMALL worksheet function. The function takes two parameters: the range of the values to be evaluated and an indicator of which smallest number you want. For instance, the following will return the second lowest number in the range of A1:A100:


If you wanted to know the two lowest numbers in the range, then use two formulas containing the SMALL function—one with 1 as the second parameter (for the lowest number) and one with 2 as the second parameter (for the second lowest number).

There are situations, of course, where the two smallest numbers in the range could actually be the same number. For instance, if the lowest number is 3 and there is a second 3 in the list, then both the lowest numbers will be the same. If you want the two lowest unique numbers then you will need to use a macro to determine them.

Function SMALLn(rng As Range, n)
    SMALLn = False
    If n < 1 Then Exit Function
    Dim i As Long, j As Long, k As Long, min, arr, arr2
    arr = Application.Transpose(rng)
    ReDim arr2(n - 1)
    min = Application.WorksheetFunction.Min(arr)
    j = UBound(arr)
    k = 0
    arr2(k) = min
    For i = 1 To j
        If Application.Small(arr, i) <> arr2(k) Then
            k = k + 1
            arr2(k) = Application.Small(arr, i)
            If k = n - 1 Then
                SMALLn = arr2(k)
                Exit For
            End If
        End If
    Next i
End Function

This user-defined function is used in the following manner:


When called like this, the function returns the second lowest unique value in the specified range.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (3420) 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: Finding the Lowest Numbers.

Related Tips:

Comprehensive VBA Guide Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) is the language used for writing macros in all Office programs. This complete guide shows both professionals and novices how to master VBA in order to customize the entire Office suite for their needs. Check out Mastering VBA for Office 2010 today!


Leave your own comment:

  Notify me about new comments ONLY FOR THIS TIP
Notify me about new comments ANYWHERE ON THIS SITE
Hide my email address
*What is 5+3 (To prevent automated submissions and spam.)
           Commenting Terms

Comments for this tip:

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)

Our Company

Sharon Parq Associates, Inc.

About Tips.Net

Contact Us


Advertise with Us

Our Privacy Policy

Our Sites


Beauty and Style




DriveTips (Google Drive)

ExcelTips (Excel 97–2003)

ExcelTips (Excel 2007–2016)



Home Improvement

Money and Finances


Pests and Bugs

Pets and Animals

WindowsTips (Microsoft Windows)

WordTips (Word 97–2003)

WordTips (Word 2007–2016)

Our Products

Helpful E-books

Newsletter Archives


Excel Products

Word Products

Our Authors

Author Index

Write for Tips.Net

Copyright © 2016 Sharon Parq Associates, Inc.