In Microsoft Excel, the SMALL function is generally used to extract the n^{th} lowest or smallest value from a range of cells containing numerical data only. In this article, you’ll get to learn how you can use this SMALL function effectively in Excel with appropriate illustrations.

The above screenshot is an overview of the article, representing a few applications of the **SMALL** function in Excel. You’ll learn more about the methods to use the **SMALL** function properly in the following sections of this article.

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**Introduction to the SMALL Function**

**Function Objective:**

**The function is used to find the k-th (generally what we know as n**^{th}**) smallest value in a data set.**

**Syntax:**

**=SMALL(array, k)**

**Arguments Explanation:**

Argument | Required/Optional | Explanation |
---|---|---|

array |
Required |
Range of cells or an array containing numerical data only. |

k |
Required |
An integer that defines the position of the smallest value in the selected array, for example- 3^{rd} smallest. |

**Return Parameter:**

**k-th (or n**^{th}**) numerical value from the selected array.**

**4 Common Examples of Using SMALL Function in Excel**

**1. Using SMALL Function to Find the Smallest Values in Excel**

In the picture below, **Column B** has some numerical values in decimals. In **Column D**, we’ll find the smallest 3 values by using the **SMALL** function. We have to input the range of cells **B5:B14** in the array argument and the serial number of the smallest values in the** ‘k’** argument.

So, in **Cell D7**, the related formula to find the 1st smallest value will be:

`=SMALL(B5:B14,1)`

After pressing** Enter**, you’ll get the first smallest value from** Column B**.

Similarly, replacing the value of** k** in the second argument of the function, you’ll be able to get the 2nd and 3rd smallest values in **Cells D8 and D9** respectively.

**2. Use of SMALL Function to Extract the Earliest Times or Dates in Excel**

With the **SMALL** function, you can extract the earliest times from a range of cells or an array containing timestamps. In the picture below, **Column B** has a number of timestamps and by using the **SMALL** function in **Column D**, you can easily pull out the earliest times.

Similarly, if **Column B** has a range of cells containing dates, then you can use the **SMALL** function to find out the oldest dates like the following screenshot.

**3. SMALL Function to Find the Fastest Competitors in an Event**

Now in a practical scenario, the** SMALL** function is more useful when you have to find the champion and runner-ups in a contest based on the lowest time taken to finish an event. In the following picture, you’re seeing the final results for several contestants. We’ll find out the lowest three time differences from **Column E**.

In the output **Cell C13**, the SMALL function with an array inside to get the three fastest time spans will be:

`=SMALL(E5:E11,{1,2,3})`

After pressing **Enter**, you’ll get the lowest three time differences in an array at once.

**4. SMALL Function to Pull Out the Lowest Number of Days Between Two Dates**

We can use the **SMALL** function to get the lowest number of days between two dates. In the picture below, a table is present with a number of project details containing the start dates, end dates and the number of days taken for the projects. We’ll find out the lowest three time spans for the projects in **Cell C13**.

The related formula with a **SMALL** function in the output **Cell C13** should be:

`=SMALL(E5:E11,{1,2,3})`

After pressing **Enter**, the formula will return an array containing the lowest three time spans right away.

**💡**** Things to Keep in Mind**

🔺 **SMALL **function returns a **#NUM** error if the value in the second argument or** ‘k’** exceeds the number of total data in the selected array or range of cells.

🔺 The function will return a **#VALUE** error if you input a non-numeric character for the second argument **(k)**.

🔺 If you need to find the 1st lowest or smallest value only, the **MIN** function is more suitable to use.

🔺 If you input the serial numbers of the smallest values in an array as the second argument, the function will also return a horizontal array containing the related outputs with the extracted data from the selected array.

🔺 To find the largest numbers or values from an array, then use the **LARGE** function.

**Concluding Words**

I hope all of the simple methods mentioned above to use the** SMALL **function will now prompt you to apply them in your Excel spreadsheets with more productivity. If you have any questions or feedback, please let me know in the comment section. Or you can check out our other articles related to Excel functions on this website.

## Further Readings

- How to Use MIN Function in Excel (5 Relevant Examples)
- How to use MAX function in Excel (6 Examples)
- How to use COUNTBLANK function in Excel (3 Examples)
- How to use AVERAGE function in Excel (5 Examples)
- How to Use COUNTIF Function in Excel (10 Suitable Applications)
- How to Use COUNT Function in Excel (With 5 Examples)
- The Different Ways of Counting in Excel
- How to calculate Average, Median, & Mode in Excel