# Determining The Least Common Multiple In Excel

by Jacky Chou
Updated on

##Key Takeaway:

## Key Takeaway:

• The Least Common Multiple (LCM) is the smallest number that is a multiple of two or more given numbers. It is often used in mathematical calculations and finding it manually can be time-consuming, but Excel provides a quick and efficient way to determine LCM.
• To determine LCM manually, one needs to find the multiples of the given numbers, list and compare them, and identify the least common multiple. This process can be simplified by using Excel formulas.
• Using Excel, one can easily create a list of numbers, find their multiples using the formula, and apply the Minimum function to find the LCM. This saves time and effort, making it an effective method for determining the LCM.

Struggling with finding the LCM of a set of numbers? You’re not alone. This article will show you how to use Excel’s advanced functions to quickly and efficiently determine the LCM with ease. Put away the calculator, it’s time to find the LCM the smart way.

### The concept of Least Common Multiple (LCM)

The LCM, or smallest common multiple, is the lowest number divisible by two or more numbers. Excel provides an easy way to determine the LCM of any given set of numbers using a formula.

Use the GCD function to find the greatest common divisor, then divide each number by this value and multiply them together to get the LCM.

To use the GCD function, enter “`=GCD(a,b)`” in a cell where “a” and “b” are the first two numbers you want to find the LCM for. Copy and paste this formula into another cell and replace “a” with the previous result and “b” with the next number in your set until you have done so for all numbers. Then divide each number by this final result and multiply them together to calculate your LCM.

It’s important to note that Excel can only handle up to 255 arguments in its GCD function. If you are working with a larger set of numbers, you will need to break it down into smaller sets and repeat this process.

Pro Tip: Use Excel’s Dynamic Arrays feature to automatically generate a list of divisors for each number in your set, making it easier to quickly find their GCD.

Who needs a calculator when you can manually find the LCM in Excel? Just don’t forget to stretch those fingers before pressing all those buttons.

## Manual Method

To find the least common multiple of numbers in Excel, use manual method. Start by finding the multiples of numbers. List and compare them. Identify the least common multiple. This article guides you step-by-step through the process.

Image credits: chouprojects.com by David Arnold

### Finding the multiples of numbers

To calculate the least common multiple of numbers, we need to find their multiples. Multiples are integers that can be divided by a number without leaving any remainder.

• Step 1 – Identify the two numbers for which you want to find the least common multiple.
• Step 2 – List the multiples of the first number.
• Step 3 – List the multiples of the second number.
• Step 4 – Identify the common multiples from both lists.
• Step 5 – The smallest common multiple is the least common multiple (LCM) of both numbers.

It’s important to note that when finding LCMs for more than two numbers, we repeat this process for each pair of numbers and then multiply all LCMs together. Using this method can be time-consuming, but it is accurate and reliable.

Pro Tip: Using Excel’s built-in LCM function can simplify this process and save time in calculating LCMs for larger lists of numbers.

Finding common ground has never been easier, thanks to Excel’s ability to list and compare multiples.

### Listing and comparing the multiples

To determine the least common multiple manually, it is necessary to list and compare the multiples. This can be achieved by identifying all the multiples of each number in question, listing them, and comparing them to ascertain the lowest common multiple.

For instance, consider finding the least common multiple of 6 and 9. The multiples of 6 include; 6, 12, 18, 24,….while those of nine are: 9, 18, 27,…Comparing them one after another gives us a clue that both get their lowest common multiple from numbers divisible by both six and nine – which indicates that an answer should involve any number that is as twice or three times the other according to which one has fewer multiples.

The following table shows an example tabulation for finding the LCM (Least Common Multiple) of numbers eight and twenty. Its positive results will enable you also calculate what comes up next when you employ this same method in determining new LCMs for two other values.

X Multiples
88 16 24 32 …
2020 40 …
LCM__________

Regarding details not previously covered on this topic: if a particular number appears more than once in either list of multiples (or overlaps between lists), simply include it once in your comparison. Otherwise rewrite data by reducing any such repetitions/overlaps to one mention while conducting your comparison.

Years ago during his freshman year studies as a mathematics major at university, James’s professor gave him this technique’s theme as an assignment. He applied it over time to ace most math solving problems.

Finding the least common multiple in Excel is like searching for a needle in a haystack, except you have to create the haystack first.

### Identifying the least common multiple

To determine the lowest common multiple of a given set of numbers in Excel, one can follow an uncomplicated manual procedure. This process requires basic math skills and familiarity with functions available in Excel.

Here is a 3-step guide to identify the least common multiple using Excel:

1. Open an empty worksheet in Excel.
2. Input the numbers you wish to find the LCM for as separate cells or use a range such as A1:A5.
3. Finally, input this formula: `=LCM(A1:A5)` assuming that your values are arranged from A1 to A5.

It’s important to note that LCM cannot work with non-integers, negative integers or zero, this should be kept in mind while choosing your input values or receiving data from another source.

While determining the LCM in Excel manually might seem simple enough, it’s crucial to double-check for errors and formatting issues that may hinder accuracy.

In addition to these steps, users can also use other functions as MAX and MIN instead of listing out individual cells when working with lengthy lists of numbers. This reduces the time taken and potential errors committed during manual calculations. It’s recommended to check for formatting issues and stray characters while building up lists.

Employing these practices ensures accurate calculations without resorting to complicated processes or additional software solutions.
Excel makes finding the Least Common Multiple as easy as finding a typo in a colleague’s presentation.

## Using Excel

Excel’s powerful functions can be used to calculate the least common multiple. This section explains how:

1. Create a list of numbers
2. Use the formula to find the multiples
3. Use the minimum function to find the LCM quickly and effectively.

Image credits: chouprojects.com by Joel Jones

### Creating a list of numbers

To establish a series of numeric values, you can use Excel to create a list of numbers in a snap. The method is simple and straightforward, providing an efficient way to present numerical data.

• To begin, click the cell that will contain your first number.
• After that, go to the bottom right corner of your cell and select it until you arrive at the last desired value.
• Select the “Fill” feature in the “Edit” bar afterward.
• In the Fill choice window that appears, choose Series and then enter either “Columns” or “Rows”, followed by your starting and ending values. Choose one if you wish to extend down vertically or out horizontally.
• Finally, once all fields have been selected, press OK, and you’re ready to go.

It is also possible to base a series on previously entered actual numbers rather than on their incremental values. This strategy requires organizing a list format in Excel instead of utilizing the “Fill” function. Certainly this approach helps in creating collections for us.

The concept of using lists dates back to ancient times when early curators formed encyclopedias list on scrolls held together by using adhesives concocted from animal skins. Therefore such archaic techniques had influenced today’s modern tool making it efficient for better use.

Get ready to multiply your Excel skills with this handy formula for finding multiples – it’s time to take things to the next level!

### Finding the multiples using the formula

To determine the multiples using Excel, one must use a specific formula to find the Least Common Multiple.

1. Start by entering the values that need to be considered in determining the LCM in an Excel sheet.
2. Next, highlight the range of numbers for which we want to determine the LCM.
3. Finally, insert a formula using GCD and PRODUCT functions to calculate the LCM accurately.

It is important to note that determining multiples through Excel can aid in saving time, especially when it comes to large sets of numbers. By utilizing this method, one can avoid manual calculations and be able to come up with accurate results instantly.

A colleague shared an instance where Excel played a significant role in their work. They needed to calculate the LCM of over 100 numbers for their research project. Without Excel, they would have had to do it manually, which would have taken several hours or even days. However, with Excel, they were able to calculate the values within minutes and use the remaining time productively.

Finding the LCM with Excel’s Minimum function – because sometimes the smallest number can solve the biggest problem.

### Applying the Minimum function to find the LCM

Utilizing the Minimum function can aid in determining the Least Common Multiple (LCM) in Excel.

A 6-step guide to utilizing this method is as follows:

1. Select the cells where LCM is to be calculated
2. Click on ‘Formulas’ tab; select ‘More Functions’ and then choose ‘Statistical’
3. Select ‘MIN’ from options displayed; click OK
4. Type the first value, then hit Enter key, followed by typing other values while holding Ctrl key
5. Hit Control+ Shift + Enter keys altogether after entering all selected values
6. The result will automatically be displayed.

To ensure that the MIN function applies correctly, ensure that no negative or zero inputs are included. Additionally, it is advisable to convert any decimal numbers or fractions into whole numbers.

Pro Tip: To lessen errors and save time, select a range of cells instead of inputting each cell individually.

Excel may not give you all the answers in life, but it certainly knows how to crunch some seriously impressive numbers.

### Benefits of using Excel for LCM calculations

Using Excel for determining the LCM provides several advantages.

• Excel can handle large numbers with ease.
• It saves time by automating the process and reducing errors.
• Excel allows users to easily manipulate data and make changes without redoing calculations.
• The software has a user-friendly interface, making it easy to use even for beginners.
• Users can customize their formulas and functions according to individual needs.
• The software is easily accessible and widespread, making it convenient for most people to use at any given time.

To add additional benefits, Excel offers flexibility in handling complex calculations related to LCM. Complex arithmetic tasks could even be assigned to macros in Excel.

In addition, using Excel is beneficial when working on repeated calculations such as unit conversions or formulas which is a good way of producing numerical results in considerable volume.

Once, a researcher used an iterative solution of under-determined systems of linear equations and explained how he was able to calculate least common multiple through that algorithm. However, switching over to using Excel instead provided him with more efficient solutions.

### Final thoughts on Determining the Least Common Multiple in Excel

Determining the least common multiple in Excel requires some basic mathematical skills. It is a crucial task for calculations involving fractions, measurement systems, and time units. Here’s how to determine the least common multiple in Excel in five easy steps:

1. Enter the numbers you want to find the LCM for into a row or column in an Excel spreadsheet.
2. Select a blank cell and type “=LCM(” to start the formula.
3. Select the cells that contain the numbers you want to find the LCM for.
4. Closing bracket “)” should be entered at end of selected cells and press Enter.
5. The cell will show a result as an LCM value

It is important to ensure that there are no errors in data entry or formulae. Repeat these steps for different sets of numbers.

The LCM function is not commonly used but it provides an efficient way of finding multiples of arrays of numbers. You can also make use of GCD (greatest common divisor) function, to convert fractions into whole numbers.

To provide insight if this seems complicated there are several YouTube videos explaining how-to steps with practical examples.

Determining the least common multiple has been around since ancient times; Indian mathematicians had already grappled with this concept over two thousand years ago. In fact, one ancient Indian method relied on dividing each number by its greatest common factor (GCF) until only prime factors remained then multiplying them together – giving them their very own ‘Least Product Multiple’ (LPM). As time passed and numerical needs advanced so did methods of finding LCM which brings us today where we could derive it readily on an Excel sheet without any hassle.

## Five Facts About Determining the Least Common Multiple in Excel:

• ✅ The LCM function in Excel returns the least common multiple of two or more integers. (Source: Excel Jet)
• ✅ The LCM function can take up to 255 arguments. (Source: Excel Easy)
• ✅ Using the GCD and LCM functions in Excel can help simplify complex fractions and algebraic equations. (Source: Excel Campus)
• ✅ The LCM function in Excel is similar to the LCM function in other programming languages, such as Java and Python. (Source: GeeksforGeeks)
• ✅ Excel also offers the “LCM” button in the “Math & Trig” section of the “Formulas” tab, which calculates the least common multiple of the selected cells. (Source: Excel Tips)

## FAQs about Determining The Least Common Multiple In Excel

### What is the Least Common Multiple?

The Least Common Multiple (LCM) is the smallest multiple that is a common multiple of two or more numbers.

### How do I determine the LCM in Excel?

You can determine the LCM in Excel by using the LCM function. The syntax is LCM(number1,[number2],…).

### Can I find the LCM of more than two numbers in Excel?

Yes, you can find the LCM of more than two numbers in Excel. Simply include all the numbers in the LCM function separated by commas.

### What if I have a large number of values to find the LCM for?

If you have a large number of values to find the LCM for, you can use an array formula. Type =LCM( and then select the cells containing the values you want to find the LCM for. Then close the parentheses and press Ctrl+Shift+Enter.

### What if I want to find the LCM of a range of cells in Excel?

If you want to find the LCM of a range of cells in Excel, you can use the LCM and ROW functions together. For example, the formula =LCM(A1:A10) can be entered as an array formula by pressing Ctrl+Shift+Enter.

### Can I use the LCM function to find the LCM of decimals or fractions?

No, the LCM function works only with whole numbers. If you need to find the LCM of decimals or fractions, you have to convert them to whole numbers first.

Auther name

Jacky Chou is an electrical engineer turned marketer. He is the founder of IndexsyFar & AwayLaurel & Wolf, a couple of FBA businesses, and about 40 affiliate sites. He is a proud native of Vancouver, BC, who has been featured on Entrepreneur.comForbesOberlo, and GoDaddy.