How to find the closest date to today on a list in Excel?

Supposing you have a list of date with today’s date mixed. For finding the closed date to today in this list, you may need to use formulas. There are two situations, one is finding the past closest date to today, and the other is finding the future closest date to today. In this article, we will show you how to deal with these two problems.

Finding the past closest date to today in Excel
Finding the future closest date to today in Excel

Finding the past closest date to today in Excel

As below screenshot shows, the today’s date is 1/29/2015, please do as follows to find the past closest to today’s date.

1. Select a blank cell, such as cell B2 to locate the result.

2. Copy and paste the formula =MAX(($A$2:$A$18<TODAY())*A2:A18) into the Formula Bar, and then press Ctrl + Shift + Enter keys simultaneously.

As the above screenshot shown, you can see the past closest date 1/26/2015 to today’s date is populated into cell B2.

Finding the future closest date to today in Excel

In this section, we will show you how to find the future closest date to today in Excel.

1. Select the blank cell B2, copy and paste formula =MIN(IF(A2:A18>TODAY(),A2:A18)) into the Formula Bar, and then press Ctrl + Shift + Enter keys simultaneously. See screenshot:

Then you will get the future closest date to today in cell B2.


1. In the formulas, please change the range to your need;

2. If there is not date format displaying, please change the cell format to Date after calculating.

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