Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. If you are using a later version (Excel 2007 or later), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for later versions of Excel, click here: Returning a Weight and a Date.

Returning a Weight and a Date

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated September 2, 2017)

David asked how he could return a date associated with the maximum value in a particular column. In David's application, he had two columns containing dates and weights associated with those dates. He could figure out how to determine the maximum weight, but not how to pull the date on which that weight occurred.

In this instance, let's assume that the dates are in column A and the weights are in column B, rows 2 through 45. The following is the method of determining the maximum weight in column B:

=MAX(B2:B45)

You are not limited to using the MAX function; you can also use the LARGE function, which returns the largest specified value in a range. If you want the largest value, you use the function in this way:

=LARGE(B1:B45,1)

So far so good. In order to pull the corresponding date from the cell to the left of the date, all you need to do is use one of the lookup functions. The following example uses the INDEX function:

=INDEX(A2:A45,MATCH(MAX(B2:B45),B2:B45,FALSE),1)

The INDEX function pulls the value from row n, column 1 of range A2:A45. The value of n is determined by using MATCH to get the position number of the maximum value of range B2:B45 within that range. For example, if the highest weight is the fourth one on the list (the weight in row 5), the MATCH expression returns 4, therefore the INDEX function returns the date from row 5, column 1 of range A2:A45.

If you wanted, you could simplify the formula even more by just specifying column information within it. In this way, you could have as many entries as desired in columns A and B:

=INDEX(A:A,MATCH(MAX(B:B),B:B,FALSE),1)

You could just as easily use the LARGE function in place of the MAX function in these formulas. If there are two dates that have the same weight associated with them, then only the first matching date is returned. In addition, you will need to format whatever cell contains your formula with a date format.

If your columns are reversed, meaning that the weights are in column A and the dates are in column B, then you would use the VLOOKUP function instead of INDEX, as shown here:

=VLOOKUP(LARGE(A1:A45,1),A1:B45,2,FALSE)

Again, the MAX function could be used in this formula instead of the LARGE function, if desired.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (1972) applies to Microsoft Excel 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. You can find a version of this tip for the ribbon interface of Excel (Excel 2007 and later) here: Returning a Weight and a Date.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He  is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Determining Combinations to Make a Total

If you have a range of cells that contain values, you may wonder which combinations of those cells should be used to meet a ...

Discover More

Specifying Index Section Dividers

When adding an index to your document, you can use one of the available field switches to specify how the index should be ...

Discover More

Filtering Columns

The filtering tools provided in Excel make it easy to filter a data list so that only certain rows are displayed. What if you ...

Discover More

Program Successfully in Excel! John Walkenbach's name is synonymous with excellence in deciphering complex technical topics. With this comprehensive guide, "Mr. Spreadsheet" shows how to maximize your Excel experience using professional spreadsheet application development tips from his own personal bookshelf. Check out Excel 2013 Power Programming with VBA today!

More ExcelTips (menu)

Looking Up Names when Key Values are Identical

Need to look up some values based upon some key items that may be identical to each other? Depending on the characteristics ...

Discover More

Using VLOOKUP to Access Information to the Left

One of the most useful function in Excel is VLOOKUP. One thing it won't do, however, is allow you to lookup information to ...

Discover More

Determining a State from an Area Code

Want to be able to take information that is in one cell and match it to data that is contained in a table within a worksheet? ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is 4 + 3?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


This Site

Got a version of Excel that uses the menu interface (Excel 97, Excel 2000, Excel 2002, or Excel 2003)? This site is for you! If you use a later version of Excel, visit our ExcelTips site focusing on the ribbon interface.

Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.