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How to find maximum or minimum absolute value and keep sign in Excel?

Author: Sun Last Modified: 2022-10-25

In Excel, if there are some values in a column that both include positive and negative values, generally, you can find the maximum and minimum values of their absolute values by using the formula that combines MAX and ABS functions. But sometimes, you may want to find the maximum or minimum values of their absolute values but keep their sign when returning the result as the below screenshot shows. How can you solve this job?
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Find max or min absolute value and keep sign

Note: the methods provided in this tutorial are tested in Excel 2021, there may be some different in different Excel verisions.

Find max or min absolute value and keep sign

Here are two formulas that can help you to quickly find maximum and minimum absolute values and keep signs from a column.

Find maximum value

Select a cell and use the below formula:


Press Enter key. (in some old Excel versions, you may need to press Shift + Ctrl + Enter key)

Find minimum value

Select a cell and use the below formula:


Press Enter key. (in some old Excel versions, you may need to press Shift + Ctrl + Enter key)

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In above formulas, $A$1:$A$7 is the column range that you want to find maximum or minimum value from. And both of above formulas only work correctly in a single column, if there are multiple columns in the range, the formula will return error value.

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