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How to use the LARGE function in Microsoft Excel

Let's look at some Excel Large function examples and explore how to use the Large function as a worksheet function in Microsoft Excel:

LARGE function


It's slightly more difficult to find the largest or smallest number in a column. =MAX() shows the largest value and =MIN shows the smallest value. But far more difficult is finding the second largest value and third largest value.

What now?
The LARGE function can be used to return the largest, second largest, third largest and kth largest values from a range.
The Large function is a built-in function in Excel that is categorized as a Statistical Function.


Get the nth largest value.

Return value

The LARGE function returns a largest numeric value.

What Does It Do ?

This function examines a list of values and picks the value at a user specified position in the list.



Parameters or Arguments

array - A range from which you want to return the nth largest value
k - The position from the largest to return.


No special formatting is needed.

Usage notes

  • The LARGE Function can be used to find the first, second or the third highest scores of a test. The LARGE function retrieves numeric values based on their position in a list when sorted by value.
  • If array is empty or non-numeric, the LARGE function will return the #NUM! error.
  • Text values are ignored by the LARGE in Excel and it only recognizes numerical values.
  • When the value of the k argument is less than 1 or greater than the number of values in the given array, the LARGE function will return the #NUM! error.
  • When the supplied k argument is non-numeric, the large function will return the #NAME? error.
  • The large function would return an error if there is an error value anywhere in your data set or array.

Please note that Microsoft Excel uses “k” instead of “n”. We are using “nth”, because it is more easier to understand the LARGE formula in Excel.

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