Occasional Contributor


I have been using the above formula successfully to select the 5 largest numbers in a row of 35 numbers

There are some 60 rows

I now want to amend the formula to select the 9 largest numbers in a row

I then use conditional formatting to highlight the selected cells

Can anyone tell me what the formula for 9 selections should look like?


24 Replies



You do that by replacing this part:


With this:



You can also simplify the formula this way:


 This formula will create an array of the largest nine numbers, then add them.


With regards to the conditional formatting, you have to use this formula in a new conditional formatting rule:



I hope you find this solution helpful




For highlighting the top 9 values:



Hi, thank you for your help, replacing the 5 with 9 works fine. But with the conditional formatting it highlights all of the duplicate numbers, so it appears as if more numbers have been selected.

It needs an additional condition that only allows highlighting of 9 cells





The rule highlights only the 9 largest number in the row as the screenshot below:

Get the largest numbers and view them using a conditional formatting rule.png


And this is including the duplicates.

The SUMPRODUCT works fine but when I input the conditional formatting rule I get the result below

In addition I only want 9 of the highest highlighted. If the numbers are duplicated and therefore more than 9 are highlighted, it must disregard any duplicate over and above the 9,

EG: if the string of numbers were all the same, say 12 numbers all 39 then only 9 of them must be highlighted.




If you want to apply the rule to multiple rows, please select them and apply the rule to them.

But you have to change the conditional formatting formula a little bit as follows:


Where $A2:$V2 is the range of the numbers across all rows.

But please note that you have to use only a single dollar sign before the column reference, this is to lock the columns but not the rows to allow the formula to go down to other rows.


With regards to range A1:A9, it must be locked in all directions like this ($A$1:$A$9).

Get the largest numbers and view them using a conditional formatting rule.png


Please find the attached file to test this solution.

Hope that helps

to eliminate duplicate higher numbers you can create a secondary table where you eliminate the duplicates with 0. and in conditional formatting you can use this table's value in comparison and apply conditionin on the first table. chec the attached file. you can also see the duplicates removed in second table

The conditional format formula needs to be able to exclude duplicates over and above the 9 highest


If we have 12 numbers like this 40,40,40,40,40,40,40,40,40,40,40,40 the format formulae must select only 9 of the highest






Great idea. And if color from left to right


Hi Vic,


I'm just wondering if my last reply has solved the issue?

Do you need any further help?

Can somebody explain me why we add column number divided by 100000 to the cell value?



This construction creates unique values. No duplicates anymore.



Hi Hatham,

I had responses from yourself, erol sinan zorlu, Detief Lewin and Sergei Baklan regarding selecting the 9 largest numbers in a row.

The following three formulas worked fine in selecting only the 9 largest;




However the problem came with the conditional formatting where I only wanted 9 numbers to be highlighted. When the row contained a number of duplicates some formulas included all of them if they were part of the 9 largest.

=E2>=AGGREGATE(14,6,$E2:$Z2,9)     this one did not exclude the duplicates

=E2+(1/COLUMN(E2))%%%>=AGGREGATE(14,6,$E2:$Z2+(1/COLUMN($E2:$Z2))%%%,9) This one works fine from Sergei


So I have settled on =AVERAGE(..........for the 9 largest

And =E2+(1/COLUMN(E2))%%%>= ......... for the conditional formatting.

Thank you and your fellow colleagues in the Tech Community for your help, the problem is now solved



yes but comparison is done against the largest 9th number. so basically you do not need a unique number.

for conditional formatting you can use below formula also to eliminate duplicates. so if you have more than 1 from that biggest number only the first one will be selected.



Erol, your formula selects only one cell instead of 9 cells.

Perhaps you meant:



it selects the first largest number and eliminates the rest so basically if you have 3 of the same highest number it selects the first one

If you have row of numbers like this:
Will it select only the first 38 and and the first 37 ignore the other 38's and 37's
to end up like this as the 9 selected

no, this is to select only first occurance of the largest number

I am not quite clear on this.
If the largest number was a 40 and there were three of them, would it only select the first one and ignore the other two even if those numbers made up part of the 9 largest?

I have checked the post throughoutly and I am sorry I have passed your earlier information. 

No worries, the formulas I am now using are working fine.
Thanks for your interest
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