### Controlling rank order

The rank function has two modes of operation, controlled by the order argument. To rank values where the largest value is ranked #1, set order to zero (0). For example, with the values 1-5 in the range A1:A5: Set order to zero (0) when you want to rank something like top sales, where the largest sales number should rank #1, and to set order to one (1) when you want to rank something like race results, where the shortest (fastest) time should rank #1.

### Duplicates

The RANK function will assign duplicate values to the same rank. For example, if a certain value has a rank of 3, and there are two instances of the value in the data, the RANK function will assign both instances a rank of 3. The next rank assigned will be 5, and no value will be assigned a rank of 4. If tied ranks are a problem, one workaround is to employ a tie-breaking strategy. Note: The RANK function is now classified as a compatibility function. Microsoft recommends RANK.EQ or RANK.AVG be used instead.

### Notes

The default for order is zero (0). If order is 0 or omitted, number is ranked against the numbers sorted in descending order: smaller numbers receive a higher rank value, and the largest value in a list will be ranked #1. If order is 1, number is ranked against the numbers sorted in ascending order: smaller numbers receive a lower rank value, and the smallest value in a list will be ranked #1. It is not necessary to sort the values in the list before using the RANK function. In the event of a tie (i.e. the list contains duplicates) RANK will assign the same rank value to each set of duplicates. Some documentation suggests ref can be a range or array, but it appears ref must be a range.

### Dave Bruns

Hi - I’m Dave Bruns, and I run Exceljet with my wife, Lisa. Our goal is to help you work faster in Excel. We create short videos, and clear examples of formulas, functions, pivot tables, conditional formatting, and charts.