Locate The Largest (and The Smallest) Number

BY STANLEY ZAROWIN

Q. I frequently have to select the top three sales receipts for an area and then add them up. All the sales figures are on a spreadsheet and I’ve been sorting the numbers to get the top three and then adding them. I suspect there is an easier way. Any clues?

A. You can speed the process by using Excel’s LARGE function. By the way, there is also a SMALL function, which I’ll tell you about, too.

Say you have the numbers in cells C2 through C15. All you need to do is use the following formula in a separate cell:

=LARGE(C2:C15,1)+LARGE(C2:C15,2)+LARGE(C2:C15,3)

If you want to include the four largest, just substitute 4 for 3 at the end of the formula:

+LARGE(C2:C15,4)

To add up the three smallest numbers, the formula becomes:

=SMALL(C2:C15,1)+SMALL(C2:C15,2)+SMALL(C2:C15,3)

Shortcuts

Excel: AutoSum from the keyboard: Select a blank cell to the right of or below your values and press Ctrl+= (that’s Ctrl and the equal sign)

Word: A fast way to cycle through all open documents: Press Ctrl+F6.

Word: An easy way to remove any formatting that’s been added to a group of characters: Select the text from which you want the formatting removed and press Ctrl+Space Bar.

Internet Explorer: If, while browsing, you would like to click on a link but save your place, hold the Shift key while clicking; it will open a new window to display the second site.

SPONSORED REPORT

Keeping client information safe in an age of scams and security threats

A look at the Dirty Dozen tax scams and ways to protect taxpayer information.

TECHNOLOGY Q&A

How to create maps in Excel 2016

Microsoft Excel 2016 has two new mapping capabilities. J. Carlton Collins, CPA, demonstrates how to make masterful 2D and 3D maps in Excel 2016.

QUIZ

News quiz: IRS enforcement, a hot job, and audit value

The IRS’s 2016 Data Book, a “hot job” of particular interest at this time of year, and insight into how executive and audit committees view the insights from financial statement audits received attention recently. See how much you know with this short quiz.