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Find the Smallest n Values in Excel & Google Sheets

Download Example Workbook

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This tutorial will demonstrate how to find the smallest n values using the SMALL function in Excel and Google Sheets.

Find the Smallest n Values Main Function

Smallest nth Value using SMALL Function

To retrieve the nth smallest numeric value from a given range (for e.g. 1st smallest, 2nd smallest etc.) use the SMALL function. Its syntax is:

Small Function

This example will illustrate the process for 1st and 4th smallest value from a range.

=SMALL (C3:C7,1)

Find the Smallest n Values EX 01

The k value in the formula is modified for each nth position. For ease of understanding k is referred as ‘n’.

SMALL Function using Cell Reference

In the previous example, the formula for each respective nth value was modified, a quicker way is to use a mixed cell reference and drag it down the table.


Mixed Reference

Note: If the array is empty or nth position is greater than the number of records in the array, the SMALL function will return #NUM! error value.

SMALL Function if N > Number of Records

Excel returns a #NUM! error if the nth position is greater than the number of records. Following example demonstrates the same.


N of Records

Google Sheets –Find the Smallest n Values

All of the above examples work exactly the same in Google Sheets as in Excel.

Small Google