Exceljet

Quick, clean, and to the point

Excel MAXA Function

Excel MAXA function
Summary 

The Excel MAXA function returns the largest numeric value in a range of values. The MAXA function ignores empty cells, but evaluates the logical values TRUE and FALSE as 1 and 0, respectively.

Purpose 
Return largest value.
Return value 
Largest numeric value
Syntax 
=MAXA (value1, [value2], ...)
Arguments 
  • value1 - Number, reference to numeric value, or range that contains numeric values.
  • value2 - [optional] Number, reference to numeric value, or range that contains numeric values.
Version 
Usage notes 

Like the MAX function, the MAXA function returns the largest numeric value in a supplied set of data. For example, the MAXA function can return the highest test score, the slowest time in a race, the maximum temperature, or the top sales number. Arguments can be provided as constants, or as references:

=MAXA(5,10)
=MAXA(A1,A2,A3)
-MAXA(A1:A10)

The primary difference between MAX and MAXA is that MAXA evaluates TRUE and FALSE values as 1 and 0 respectively. Microsoft documentation also suggests that MAXA evaluates numbers entered as text differently from MAX:

If you want to include logical values and text representations of numbers in a reference as part of the calculation, use the MAXA function.

This is a bit confusing. In my testing, MAX and MAXA both evaluate text representations of numbers when supplied directly as arguments. For example:

=MAXA(5,"10") // returns 10
=MAX(5,"10") // also returns 10

The difference appears to be that when cell references include text, MAXA evaluates them as zero in the calculation, whereas MAX simply ignores them. For example, if A1 contains -5, and A2 contains "10" (as a text value):

=MAXA(A1,A2)// returns 0
=MAX(A1,A2) // returns -5

Further, MAXA appears to evaluate any text value in a cell reference as zero (i.e. "apple" would also evaluate as zero).

Notes

  • The MAXA function ignores empty cells.
  • The MAXA function accepts up to 255 arguments.
  • If arguments contain no numbers, MAXA returns 0.
  • Arguments can be provided as numbers, names, arrays, references, logical values, or numbers as text.
  • MAXA function evaluates TRUE and FALSE values as 1 and 0 respectively.
  • In a cell reference, a "number as text" is evaluated (and included) as zero.

Download 200+ Excel Shortcuts

Get over 200 Excel shortcuts for Windows and Mac in one handy PDF.