Microsoft Office Tutorials and References

In Depth Information

**Tip 41: Returning the Last Nonblank Cell in a Column or Row**

Returning the Last Nonblank Cell in a

Column or Row

Suppose that you update a worksheet frequently by adding new data to its columns. You might need

a way to reference the last value in a particular column (the value most recently entered). This tip

presents three ways to accomplish this.

Figure 41-1 shows an example. The worksheet tracks the value of three funds in columns B:D. Notice

that the information does not arrive at the same time. The goal is to get the sum of the most recent

data for each fund. These values are calculated in the range G4:G6.

Figure 41-1:
Use a formula to return the last non-empty cell in columns B:D.

Cell counting method

The formulas in G4, G5, and G6 are

=INDEX(B:B,COUNTA(B:B))

=INDEX(C:C,COUNTA(C:C))

=INDEX(D:D,COUNTA(D:D))

These formulas use the COUNTA function to count the number of non-empty cells in column C. This

value is used as the second argument for the INDEX function. For example, in column B the last value

is in row 6, COUNTA returns 6, and the INDEX function returns the 6th value in the column.

The preceding formulas work in most, but not all, situations. If the column has one or more empty

cells interspersed, determining the last nonblank cell is a bit more challenging because the COUNTA

function doesnâ€™t count the empty cells.