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How to Find the Smaller of Two Values in Excel

When we have numeric values in two cells in Excel and need to compare them to find the smaller of two values, then this can be done using different formulas.

Figure 1. Finding the Smaller of Two Values

Using the MIN Function

The Excel MIN function returns the smallest value in a set of values, ignoring the text and logical values. We can enter the two values in this function as constant numbers, cell reference, range or an array to find the smaller of two values. For our example, we will use the following formula in cell E2 and copy it down to below cells;

=MIN(B2,C2)

Figure 2. Using the MIN Function

Using the SMALL Function

The Excel SMALL function returns the k-th smallest value in a dataset. We can enter the values in this function as a range or array argument to return the k-th smallest values. We need to compare the two values in cell F2 to find the smaller of two values in the following formula and copy this formula down;

=SMALL(B2:C2,1)

Figure 3. Using the SMALL Function

Using the IF Function

The Excel IF function checks whether a condition is met and returns one value if TRUE, else another value if FALSE. Using the IF function we can compare two values in the logical_test arguments to check the given condition and return one value if TRUE, else the second value. We can find the smaller of two values in the following formula in cell G2 and copy it down;

=IF(B2<C2,B2,C2)

Figure 4. Using the IF Function

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Another blog reader asked this question today on Excelchat:
Solution examples
Could you help me by explaining the IF function?
Solved by G. L. in 24 mins
I have a question about Conditional Formatting. =IF('Sheet1'!A1="X",IF('Sheet1'!B1="Y", TRUE, FALSE),FALSE) the set the cell background to red. I would like to make it so that if Sheet1'!B1="Z" I set the back to blue. How can I achieve this.
Solved by B. F. in 39 mins
I need to find out if the 2018 yearly sales goals were met if the yearly sales were $25,000 or more using an IF logical function and to set the formula to return a value of YES if met, and NO if not
Solved by A. A. in 18 mins
I filtered data in column A (it is labeled ID #) of a data set. On my next worksheet, column A is also the ID #, but it is a different data set. I want to filter the ID #'s the same for the two sheets, but how do I do that being that I am working with two different sets of data?
Solved by V. H. in 22 mins
i want to create a very simple if function in a cell which is, if one cell is less than 1250, then the automatic value in the current cell is 250, dead easy, for someone who knows! Thank you.
Solved by A. H. in 14 mins

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