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

Indenting a Paragraph

Normally your text extends from the left margin all the way to the right. If you need to indent a paragraph of your text, ...

Discover More

Reading Values from Graphs

Adding a trendline to a graph will allow you to see trends a bit easier, depending on your data. You can even utilize an ...

Discover More

Leading Quote Mark Generates Grammar Error

One of the mostly helpful tools that Word includes is a grammar checker. Sometimes, however, the grammar checker might ...

Discover More

Excel Smarts for Beginners! Featuring the friendly and trusted For Dummies style, this popular guide shows beginners how to get up and running with Excel while also helping more experienced users get comfortable with the newest features. Check out Excel 2013 For Dummies today!

More ExcelTips (menu)

Returning Item Codes Instead of Item Names

The data validation capabilities of Excel are really handy when you want to limit what is put into a cell. However, you ...

Discover More

Understanding the VLOOKUP Function

Functions are at the heart of Excel's power in working with data. One of the most misunderstood functions provided by ...

Discover More

Adjusting the VLOOKUP Function

The VLOOKUP function is very powerful, but it will only return values that meet a very limited set of criteria. If you ...

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 seven minus 2?

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.