Excel Formulas: How To Sum The Top Or Bottom X Numbers in a List

Originally Posted in our Excel Help Forum

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How To Sum The Top Or Bottom X Numbers

When you have a list of number in an Excel spreadsheet there are times when you may have to Sum only the top x numbers in the list. If the numbers are sorted then the task is a fairly straightforward Sum function including on the top, or bottom x cells. Often however this is not the case.

Lets say we have a list of number in the range A1:A100 and we have to sum only the 10 largest/smallest figures. We can do this by nesting the LARGE function into the SUM function as shown below. CAUTION: Array formulas and SUMPRODUCT (used for this purpose) are VERY inefficient and have serious limitations. I advise to use DSUM (shown below) or a PivotTable

=SUM(LARGE(\$A\$2:\$A\$100,{1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10}))

This is an array formula and must be entered via Ctrl+Shift+Enter and your list cannot contain text

If we only needed the 5 largest, we would simply omit the numbers 6 to 10. If we needed to sum the 15 largest number we simply add number 11 to 15.

Should we need to sum the 10 smallest values in the list we could use

=SUM(SMALL(\$A\$2:\$A\$100,{1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10}))

This is an array formula and must be entered via Ctrl+Shift+Enter and your list cannot contain text

SUMPRODUCT

=SUMPRODUCT((\$A\$2:\$A\$100>LARGE(\$A\$2:\$A\$100,9))*(\$A\$2:\$A\$100))

DSUM THE BEST WAY

Use of the DSUM Function requires A1 to be a Heading.

1. In any spare column add the text Criteria
2. Directly below this Enter either =A1>LARGE(\$A\$1:\$A\$100,9) OR =A1<SMAll(\$A\$1:\$A\$100,9)
3. Where you want the result, Enter =DSUM(\$A\$1:\$A\$100,1,\$C\$1:\$C\$2)

Where C1=Criteria and C2=A1>LARGE(\$A\$1:\$A\$100,9) OR =A1<SMAll(\$A\$1:\$A\$100,9)

Where 1 is the relative Column position of the Column you are summing. Your MUST have a heading but your list CAN contain text.

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