Software & Apps MS Office Use Excel's MAX Function Shortcut to Find the Largest Values by Ted French Writer Former Lifewire writer Ted French is a Microsoft Certified Professional who teaches and writes about spreadsheets and spreadsheet programs. our editorial process Ted French Updated on May 31, 2020 The Ultimate Guide to Keyboard Shortcuts The Ultimate Guide to Keyboard Shortcuts Introduction Windows Timesavers The Best Windows 10 Keyboard Shortcuts Essential Keyboard Shortcuts for Better Productivity How to Use the Shortcut Alt + Underline Shortcut to Create New Folders Essential Shortcuts for iTunes Mac, iOS & iPad Quick Tricks The Best Mac Shortcuts Keyboard Shortcuts for Finder Mac Startup Keyboard Shortcuts 18 Shortcuts for Apple's iOS Shortcuts App iPad Keyboard Tips and Smart Keyboard Shortcuts Android & iPhone Shortcuts The Best Android Shortcuts You Should Be Using Create and Use iPhone X Shortcuts Email Shortcuts The 30 Best Gmail Keyboard Shortcuts for 2020 How to Use Yahoo Mail Keyboard Shortcuts The Complete Apple Mail Shortcut List Shortcuts in iOS Mail Delete Shortcut Keys for Popular Email Programs How to Use Outlook.com Keyboard Shortcuts Create Text Snippets With Shortcuts in Mac OS X Mail Online & Browser Shortcuts Top 36 Shortcuts for Edge and IE 11 Keyboard Shortcuts: Google Chrome for Windows Create Web Page Shortcuts in Chrome for Windows Control Safari Windows With Keyboard Shortcuts Shortcuts for Safari Toolbars Shortcuts for Safari on OS X & Sierra Excel Shortcuts The 23 Best Excel Shortcuts Shortcut Excel's Fill Down Command Shortcut the Current Date/Time Formatting Numbers Adding Worksheets Shortcut to Saving Your Work Creating a Chart MAX Function Shortcut More Office Shortcuts Top 10 Microsoft Word Shortcuts The 5 Best Hidden Word Shortcuts Add Shortcut Keys to AutoText Entries Uppercase Shortcut Key How to Reset Keyboard Shortcuts in Word Shortcut to Speed Up PowerPoint Presentations Other Useful Shortcuts The Best Google Docs Shortcuts 18 Shortcuts for Linux Mint 18 Cinnamon Changing Linux Mint Cinnamon Shortcuts Fedora GNOME Keyboard Shortcuts Maya Keyboard Shortcuts Create or Reassign Keyboard Shortcuts in MS Office Useful Keyboard Shortcuts for Photoshop CC Time-Saving Fill Tool Shortcuts in Photoshop The 5 Most Useful GIMP Keyboard Shortcuts How to Use the GIMP Keyboard Shortcut Editor Shortcuts to Type a Tilde Mark Tweet Share Email The primary use for the Excel MAX function is to find the largest value in a set. However, it can be used to find other values as well. Learn more about this function and discover a shortcut for using the MAX function. These instructions apply to Excel for Microsoft 365, Excel 2019, 2016, 2013, 2010, Excel 2019 for Mac, Excel 2016 for Mac, Excel for Mac 2011, and Excel Online. Find the Largest Number, Slowest Time, Longest Distance, or Highest Temperature The MAX function always finds the largest or maximum number in a list of values, but, depending upon the data and the way that data is formatted, it can also be used to find: The slowest time.The longest distance.The fastest speed.The latest date.The highest temperature.The greatest amount of money. And while it is often easy to pick out the largest value in a small sample of integers, the task becomes much more difficult for large amounts of data or if that data happens to be: Negative numbers.Times measured in hundredths of a second.Currency exchange rates calculated to the ten-thousandths of a cent.Numbers formatted as fractions. Examples of such numbers are shown in the image above. While the MAX function itself doesn't change, its versatility in dealing with numbers in a variety of formats is apparent and is one reason why the function is so useful. MAX Function Syntax and Arguments A function's syntax refers to the layout of the function and includes the function's name, brackets, comma separators, and arguments. The syntax for the MAX function is: =MAX( Number1, Number2, ... Number255 ) Number1 is requiredNumber2 (up to Number255) is optional The arguments, in parentheses, can be: NumbersNamed rangesArraysCell references to the location of the data in a worksheetBoolean values typed directly into the list of arguments. Notes: If the arguments do not contain numbers, the function will return a value of zero. If an array, a named range, or a cell reference used in an argument contains empty cells, Boolean values or text data, those cells are ignored by the function, as shown in the example in row 7 in the image above. In row 7, the number 10 in cell C7 is formatted as text (note the green triangle in the top left corner of the cell indicating that the number is stored as text). As a result, the function ignores it, along with the Boolean value (TRUE) in cell A7 and the empty cell B7. The function in cell E7 returns zero for an answer since the range A7 to C7 doesn't contain any numbers. MAX Function Example Here's how to enter the MAX function into cell E2 in the image example near the top of this page. As shown, a range of cell references will be included as the number argument for the function. One advantage of using cell references or a named range as opposed to directly entering the data is that if the data in the range changes, the results of the function will automatically update without having to edit the formula itself. Options for entering the formula include: Typing the formula containing the function =Max(A2:C2) directly into cell E2 and pressing Enter on the keyboard.Entering the arguments using the MAX function's dialog box.Using the MAX function shortcut located on the Home tab of the ribbon. MAX Function Shortcut This shortcut to using Excel's MAX function is one of several standard Excel functions that have shortcuts grouped under the AutoSum icon on the Home tab of the ribbon. To use this shortcut to enter the MAX function: Select cell E2 to make it the active cell.Select the Home tab of the ribbon if necessary.At the far right end of the ribbon, select the down arrow beside the Σ AutoSum button to open the drop-down list of functions.Select MAX in the list to enter the MAX function into cell E2.Highlight cells A2 to C2 in the worksheet to enter this range as the function's argument.Press the Enter key on the keyboard to complete the function. The answer -6,587,447 appears in cell E2 since it is the largest negative number in that row. If you select cell E2, the complete function =MAX(A2:C2) appears in the formula bar above the worksheet.