LOOKUP date with last value in list

In this article, we will learn how to LOOKUP date with last entry in a row or column in Excel.


We have a long table of entries of products with blank cells between the values. We need to find the last entry of the product ordered and date associated with it.

How to solve the problem?

We will be using the LOOKUP function. Let's first get some knowledge about the function. LOOKUP function finds the estimated value in the range and returns the value from the range or its corresponding value.


= LOOKUP ( lookup_value, lookup_vector, [result_vector] )

lookup_value: value to look up for.
lookup_vector: array where the function looks for the lookup_value.
[result vector]:[optional] if the return array is different from the lookup array.

But here we will be using one of the attributes of the LOOKUP function i.e. if LOOKUP function can't find an exact match, it will match with just the previous value when it stops. For this, we will be using the below syntax.

Generic Formula:

= LOOKUP ( 2 , 1 / ( list<>"" ) , date_range )

list : lookup list
date_range : date value to be returned from the range


Here we have products delivered with their date and amount and we need to find the last delivered product date for each product.

So here we have some blank cells between the date value entries.

= LOOKUP ( 2 , 1 / ( C3 : J3 <>"") , C$2:J$2 )

C$2:J$2 : fixed date_range


  • <>"" this pattern with a list returns an array of TRUEs and FALSEs. TRUE value corresponding to existing values and FALSE values corresponding to blank cells.
  • TRUE values are considered as a numerical value 1 and FALSE values as 0.
  • LOOKUP function looks up for the numerical value 2 in an array of 1s and 0s.
  • So when the function doesn't find the value 2. So it looks backward in the array for the least closest value to 2 which is 1 here.
  • The function returns the date related to the last entry.

Press Enter to get the results.

As you can see, 10-Apr is the last entry date for the Wheat product.

Now copy the formula to other cells using the shortcut Ctrl + D or drag down cell option from right bottom of the cell.

As you can see, the function returns the value as required. You can customize Excel functions as required.

Here we have observational notes for using the formula.


  1. The formula returns #NA error if no match is found in the array.
  2. The formula checks the lookup value first and then looks up for the just previous value, if the lookup value is not found.
  3. All excel formula always returns the first value found in the table array.
  4. The above explained formula, lookup for the last entry and returns date related to the corresponding last value.

Hope you understand how to LOOKUP date with last value in list in Excel. Explore more articles on lookup value here. Please feel free to state your queries below in the comment box. We will certainly help you.

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  1. philip j andrews

    I have a complicated spreadsheet with lots of formulae for a weight loss/control project. As it's a tracking spreadsheets, dates with corresponding data gets added, and over time the position in the spreadsheet where certain data needs to be entered alters. Because it's a large spreadsheet, I needed to use navigation macros. However because the macros use fixed references, although they will be correct at the time of inception over time they will become displaced from where they need to be taking you because of the extension of the data in the column. As the spreadsheet is intended for non-power users who wouldn't know how to alter the macros, I'm looking for a method to dynamically alter the macro so that it goes to a dynamically altered location determined by today's date. So to explain further, there's a column with a list of dates starting in the past, and continuing with daily additions to the present. There's a cell at the top with a dynamically updating date. I would like to write a macro that instead of taking you to the same date cell in the list, always takes you to the last cell in the list. Any ideas?

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