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

Cycling through Colors

Excel includes quite a few tools that are not normally accessible through the various toolbars. One such esoteric tool is ...

Discover More

Moving the Insertion Point to the End of a Line

When writing a macro to process the text in a document, you may need to move the insertion point to the end of a line. ...

Discover More

Modifying Windows Startup Services

Windows takes advantage of many different operating system components called services. Most of the Windows services are ...

Discover More

Professional Development Guidance! Four world-class developers offer start-to-finish guidance for building powerful, robust, and secure applications with Excel. The authors show how to consistently make the right design decisions and make the most of Excel's powerful features. Check out Professional Excel Development today!

More ExcelTips (menu)

Using the COLUMN Function

Need to know the column number for use in a formula? The worksheet function you want is the COLUMN function, described in ...

Discover More

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

Calculating Future Workdays

Need to calculate the date that is a certain number of workdays in the future? You can do so using a couple of different ...

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 8 + 7?

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.