Google Sheets Cheat Sheet

MAXA Google Sheets Function [With Quiz]

In Google Sheets the MAXA function provides the maximum value found in the values, cells, or ranges provided as arguments.

MAXA differs from MAX by treating Boolean and text data provided in cell and range references as numbers (TRUE = 1, FALSE = 0, and text = 0).

MAXA Syntax

=MAXA(value1, [value2, ...])

Dates, times, and durations are included in the search for the maximum value by MAXA because, in Google Sheets, dates and times are just numbers made to look like dates and times.

When negative and positive numbers are included, the 'maximum' is the largest positive number.

When only negative numbers are included, the 'maximum' is the smallest negative number.

The maximum is not the value furthest from zero:

=MAX(100,1,-2,-200)

Returns 100.

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MAXA Function Example

ABC
1DataFormulaOutput
20=MAXA(A2:A)1
3-15
4zero
5-6
6TRUE
7-34

The values considered are:

  1. 0
  2. -15
  3. "zero" = 0
  4. -6
  5. TRUE = 1
  6. -34

Therefore, the output is 1.

Using cell and range references that contain only blank cells in the arguments of the MAXA function will output 0.

MAXA Errors

The arguments to MAXA can be provided as numbers, Boolean data, cell references, or range references:

=MAXA(1,FALSE,A1,B1:B2)

Providing text as an argument directly (e.g. =MAXA(1,FALSE,"Text",A1,B1:B2)) will result in a #VALUE! error:

Function MAXA parameter 3 expects number values. But 'Text' is a text and cannot be coerced to a number.

When text is included in a cell or range reference it is treated as 0.


If the referenced data includes an error, MAXA will output the first error it encounters:

ABC
1DataFormulaOutput
298=MAXA(A2:A)#N/A
315
4#N/A
56
6#ERROR!
734

Another obvious error is if you don't include any arguments (as the first value1 is required):

=MAXA()

Which results in an #N/A error:

Wrong number of arguments to MAXA. Expected at least 1 arguments, but got 0 arguments.

MAXA Function Quiz

Here's a quick summary of how to use the quiz spreadsheet:

  1. Select the required cell while the formula bar is empty
  2. Type your answer in the formula bar
  3. You can click on the spreadsheet to add cell/range references

Complete all questions to solidify your understanding of the MAXA function.

MAXA Function Exercises
Enter a formula for each question in the formula bar for the spreadsheet below.
1. Complaints
In cell B8, enter a formula to find the fewest number of complaints. Remember to start your formula with '='.
2. Cost
In cell B9, enter a formula to find the lowest cost of complaints.
ABC
1SalespersonComplaintsCost
2DwightNoneNone
3Jim-1-$324
4Phyllis-2-$648
5Stanley-3-$972
6Andy-6-$1,944
7
8Fewest complaints:
9Lowest cost:
10
Click Here When Complete

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Learn 12 tips and tactics that will make your sheets more beautiful and user-friendly from today.

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By entering your email address you agree to get email updates from me. I'll respect your privacy and you can unsubscribe at any time.

Kieran Dixon started using spreadsheets in 2010. He leveled-up his skills working for banks and running his own business. Now he makes Google Sheets and Apps Script more approachable for anyone looking to streamline their business and life.