# Larger of two values

=MAX(value1,value2)

To get the larger, or greater, of two values, you can use the MAX function. In the example shown, the formula in D5 is:

=MAX(B5,C5)

### How this formula works

The MAX function is fully automatic – it returns the largest value in the numbers provided. In this case, we give MAX function two values:

=MAX(B5,C5)

and MAX returns the larger value.

### Elegant alternative to IF

The MAX function can be a compact and elegant replacement for the IF function. For example, the formula above can be written with IF like so:

=IF(B5>=C5,B5,C5)

However, the MAX version is 6 characters shorter (11 vs. 17), and contains no redundant references, so it is less prone to errors.

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