DMAX Function

Basic Description

The Excel Dmax function finds the maximum value in a field (column) in a database for selected records only. The records to be included in the calculation are defined by a set of one or more user-specified criteria.

Syntax: DMAX( database, field, criteria )

where the arguments are shown in the table below:

database A range of cells containing the database. The top row of the database should specify the field names.
field The field (column) within the database, that you want the maximum of.This can either be a field number, or can be the field name (ie. the header in the top row of the database) encased in quotes (eg. “Area”, “Quarter”, etc)
criteria A range of cells that contain the criteria, to specify which records should be included in the calculation.The range can include one or more criteria, which are presented as a field name in one cell and the condition for that field in the cell below.


Quarter Area
>1 North

Note that the Excel database functions are not case sensitive. So, for example, the criteria =”North” will be satisfied by cells containing the text “North” or “north”.


Excel Dmax Function Examples

1 Quarter Area Sales Rep. Sales
2 1 North Monower        223,000
3 1 North Momtaz        125,000
4 1 South Sharmin        456,000
5 1 South Tina        289,000
6 2 North Mostofa        322,000
7 2 North Sumon        340,000
8 2 South Mustaniba        198,000
9 2 South Tina        222,000
10 3 North Sumona        310,000
11 3 North Monowara        250,000
12 3 South Moslem        460,000
13 3 South Tina        395,000
14 4 North Azwad        261,000
15 4 North Arifin        389,000
16 4 South Babu        305,000
17 4 South Tina        188,000

The following examples are based on the simple database on the right, which stores the sales figures for four sales representatives, over the four quarters of a year.


Example 1

If, from the example database, we wanted to find the highest sales figure in the North area, during quarter 2, we could use the Dmax function as shown below. In the example, the criteria are specified in cells F1 – G2 and the Dmax formula is shown in cell F3:

1 Quarter Area
2 2 North
3 =DMAX( A1:D17, “Sales”, F1:G2 )


The above Dmax function calculates the maximum of the values in cells D6 & D7, and therefore returns the value 340,000

Note that, in the above function, instead of typing in “Sales” for the field argument, we could have simply used the number 4 (to denote the 4th column of the database).


Example 2

In the example below, the Dmax function is used to find the highest quarterly sales figure for sales rep “Carol”, in quarters 2, 3 or 4.

Again, the criteria are specified in cells F1 – G2 and the Dmax formula is shown in cell F3:

1 Sales Rep. Quarter
2 Carol >1
3 =DMAX( A1:D17, “Sales”, F1:G2 )


The above Dmax function finds the maximum of the values in cells D8, D12 and D16, and so returns the value 460,000

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