Microsoft Excel is the most preferred data analysis tool in the market today. All the major analytical firms and business organizations have long back started using Excel as their major financial tool and it is no surprise that such a thing has happened. If you are an Excel consultant you live in Excel. If you work in business, you should use Excel. Not only is Excel an easy and reliable computation tool but it possesses a plethora of suitable functions custom-made for every mathematical operation that may be necessary. The MAX function is one such a function and here in this free Excel help article, we have explained a little bit about it.

For calculations pertaining to accounts and budgets it is at times necessary to know beforehand the greatest number among a set of numbers so that the user can work accordingly. The Microsoft Excel MAX function when provided with a set of cells or fields checks each and every one of the cells individually and displays the maximum number of the group. But it doesn’t exclude or overlook textual representation of numbers also and computes the numerical equivalent for them and operates on them to give the greatest number. The correct syntax is of course MAX (value 1, value 2…valuen). Here the initial value is the primary operand on which the function starts computing on and hence it is to be provided without any fault. But all the additional values that are present are not at all mandatory required but MAX nevertheless also computes on them. There can be a total of 30 cells or components that might be passed through the function at max and so a huge number of cells can be computed upon. Not only that the MAX function has the capability to identify any explicit argument that the user may pass through it and so can include it also in its scope for calculation of the maximum number that is present in the lot. So it is ideal for any maximum number calculation pertaining to only numerical values.
Here we have presented some examples on how to work with MAX so that it is easier to understand the concept behind the function.

Suppose, in the array C the maximum number present is 15 from the range 1 to 7, so if we write MAX (C1:C7) then it will return 15 signifying that the highest value present in the aforementioned range is in fact 4. But if we provide MAX (C1:C7, 100) then it returns a value of 100 meaning that it also has taken into account the actual argument in the end i.e. 100 and since it is bigger than the greatest number in the cells provided i.e. greater than 15, so obviously it is returned. Similarly if we pass the argument MAX(C1:C7, 100, “maximum”) then it will return 100 again as the parameter “maximum” is not at all numeric and hence cannot be accounted for. The MAX function not only can take up proper numerical values but also is programmed to take in dates and numerical representations as well.

If the text is a representation of a number, like “thirty” then the function can understand that the user explicitly mentions the number 30 in its argument list and so includes it as one parameter but it does not do the same in any other case, not even for error values or empty cells that are present in the argument. Other textual representations as well are forbidden.

If the cell or the array that is provided does not have any value at all nor has empty cells in any point then there 0 is computed in its places and the flow of calculation is thus maintained.

The MAX function is not capable of identifying any non-numerical values except textual representations of numbers but logical values go ignored by this function. To include logical values like TRUE and FALSE, the user should use the MAXA function which computes TRUE as 1 and FALSE as 0 and thus turns them into numbers themselves while computing.

The MAX function is compatible with most of Excel’s popular versions, namely Excel XP, 2000, 2003, 2007, 2008, 2010 and 2011 and is used almost by every Excel consultant for crunching numbers.