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# formula in excel that can find the last occurrence of each item in a list

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### formula in excel that can find the last occurrence of each item in a list

I need a formula that can find the last occurrence of each item in a list.
Scenario:
Column A(Products) Column B(Date of Arrival)
Socks------------------------------------Sept 2
Shoes------------------------------------Sept 3
Hats--------------------------------------Sept 3
Shoes------------------------------------Sept 4
Shoes------------------------------------
Shirts--------------------------------------

I need to get via excel formula, the latest Date of arrival per item say Sept 2 for "Socks", Sept 3 for "Hats", and Sept 4 for "Shoes". Please note that "Shoes" here has 2 Date of Arrivals as compared to "Socks" and "Hats" that have only one Date of Arrival for each. If you will notice, "Shoes" is listed 3 times wherein the last one has blank Date of Arrival. Also, "Shirts" is listed but it has blank Date of Arrival. I need then a formula that will return the desired latest Date of arrivals as I indicated above and will just return blank for the "Shirts" since it has no Date of Arrival. To summarize the desired result:

Product Latest Date of Arrival
Socks----------------------Sept 2
Shoes----------------------Sept 4
Hats------------------------Sept 3
Shirts----------------------[Blank]

### Array Version

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Assuming the first column is in B4:B14, the second column is in C4:C14 and you list of all products in in E4:E10.

In cell F4 enter the following formula. It is an array formula, so you need to enter it, then hold down Shift and Ctrl while you press Enter (Called CSE). If you get it right, the formula will be displayed with curly brackets {}. You can't enter the curly brackets, Excel puts them there when you hit "CSE".

=INDEX(\$C\$4:\$C\$14,MAX(IF(\$B\$4:\$B\$14=E4,ROW(\$B\$4:\$B\$14)-3,-1)))

Copy the formula down to cell F10. If there is no entry, it will show an error, otherwise it will show the last value next each item.

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Interesting. Will you please explain what's happening in the formula?