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How to find the first / last positive / negative number in Excel?

Author: Xiaoyang Last Modified: 2020-05-25

In a worksheet, there is a list of numbers which both have positive numbers and negative numbers, if you want to find the first or last positive or negative number in this column, how could you do?

Find the first positive / negative number with array formula

Find the last positive / negative number with array formula


arrow blue right bubble Find the first positive / negative number with array formula

To get the first positive or negative number in a list of data, the following formula may help you, please do as this:

1. In a blank cell besides your data, enter this array formula: =INDEX(A2:A18,MATCH(TRUE,A2:A18>0,0)), (A2:A18 is the data list that you want to use), see screenshot:

doc-find-first-positive-number-1

2. And then press Ctrl + Shift + Enter keys together to return the first positive number of the list, see screenshot:

doc-find-first-positive-number-2

Note: To get the first negative number of the list, you just need this formula: =INDEX(A2:A18,MATCH(TRUE,A2:A18<0,0)), and remember to press Ctrl + Shift + Enter keys simultaneously.


arrow blue right bubbleFind the last positive / negative number with array formula

If you need to find the last positive or negative number in a list of values, you can also apply array formula.

1. Please type the following formula into a blank cell next to your data, =LOOKUP(9.99999999999999E+307, IF($A$2:$A$18 > 0, $A$2:$A$18))( A2:A18 is the data list that you want to use), see screenshot:

doc-find-first-positive-number-3

2. Then press Ctrl + Shift + Enter keys at the same time to return the last positive number of the list, see screenshot:

doc-find-first-positive-number-4

Note: To get the last negative number of the list, you just need this formula: =LOOKUP(9.99999999999999E+307, IF($A$2:$A$18 < 0, $A$2:$A$18)), and remember to press Ctrl + Shift + Enter keys together.


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How to find highest value in a row and return column header in Excel?

How to find the highest value and return adjacent cell value in Excel?

How to find the max or min value based on criteria in Excel?

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Genius -thank you!!! Got me out of a bind so quickly (I was trying to determine the year of payout of almost 1000 projects -with the first formula I was able to identify the first positive cumulative cash flow (payout) and then, link it to the year) - thanks a million!
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