Quick, clean, and to the point

Smaller of two values

Excel formula: Smaller of two values
Generic formula 

To get the smaller, or lesser, of two values, you can use the MIN function. In the example shown, the formula in D5 is:


The MIN function is fully automatic - it returns the smallest value in the numbers provided. In this case, we give MIN function two values:


and MIN returns the smaller value.

Elegant alternative to IF

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


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

Dave Bruns

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