Quick, clean, and to the point

Sum top n values with criteria

Excel formula: Sum top n values with criteria
Generic formula 

To sum the top n values in a range matching criteria, you can use a formula based on the LARGE function, wrapped inside the SUMPRODUCT function. In the generic form of the formula (above), range represents a range of cells that are compared to criteria, values represents numeric values from which top values are retrieved, and N represents the idea of Nth value.

In the example, the active cell contains this formula:


Where color is the named range B5:B12 and value is the named range C5:C12.


In its simplest form, LARGE returns the "Nth largest" value in a range with this construction:

=LARGE (range,N)

So, for example:

=LARGE (C5:C12,2)

will return the 2nd largest value in the range C5:C12, which is 12 in the example shown.

However, if you supply an "array constant" (e.g. a constant in the form {1,2,3}) to LARGE as the second argument, LARGE will return an array of results instead of a single result. So, the formula:

=LARGE (C5:C12, {1,2,3})

will return the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd largest value C5:C12 in an array like this:{12,12,10}

So, the trick here is to filter the values based on color before LARGE runs. We do this with the expression:


Which results in an array of TRUE / FALSE values. During the multiplication operation, these values are coerced into ones and zeros:


So the final result is that only values associated with the color "red" survive the operation:


and the other values are forced to zero.

Note: this formula won't handle text in the value range. See below.

Handling text in values

If you have text anywhere in the value ranges, the LARGE function will throw a #VALUE error and stop the formula from working.

To handle text in the value range, you can add the IFERROR function like this:


Here, we trap errors from LARGE caused by text values and replace with zero. Using IF inside LARGE requires that the formula be entered with control + shift + enter, so we switch to SUM instead of SUMPRODUCT.

Note: I ran into this formula posted by the amazing Barry Houdini on stackoverflow.

Dave Bruns

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