Excel.Tips.Net ExcelTips (Menu Interface)

Counting Consecutive Negative Numbers

Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. If you are using a later version (Excel 2007 or later), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for later versions of Excel, click here: Counting Consecutive Negative Numbers.

Lori has a series of numbers, in adjacent cells, that can be either positive or negative. She would like a way to determine the largest sequence of negative numbers in the range. Thus, if there were seven negative numbers in a row in this sequence, she would like a formula that would return the value 7.

We've looked high and low and can't find a single formula that will do what is wanted. You can, however, do it with an intermediate column. For instance, if you have your numbers in column A (beginning in A1), then you could put the following formula in cell B1:


Then, in cell B2 enter the following:


Copy this down to all the other cells in column B for which there is a value in column A. Then, in a different cell (perhaps cell C1) you can put the following formula:


This value will represent the largest number of consecutive negative values in column A.

If you don't want to create an intermediate column to get the answer, you could create a user-defined function that will return the value.

Function MaxNegSequence(rng As Range)
' search for the largest sequence
' of negative numbers in the range

    Dim c As Range
    Dim lCounter As Long
    Dim lMaxCount As Long
    lCounter = 0
    lMaxCount = 0
    On Error Resume Next
    For Each c In rng.Cells
        If c.Value < 0 Then
            lCounter = lCounter + 1
            If lCounter > lMaxCount Then
                lMaxCount = lCounter
            End If
            lCounter = 0
        End If
    Next c
    MaxNegSequence = lMaxCount
End Function

To use the function, just place a formula similar to the following in your worksheet:

= MaxNegSequence(A1:A512)

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (3533) applies to Microsoft Excel 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. You can find a version of this tip for the ribbon interface of Excel (Excel 2007 and later) here: Counting Consecutive Negative Numbers.

Related Tips:

Program Successfully in Excel! John Walkenbach's name is synonymous with excellence in deciphering complex technical topics. With this comprehensive guide, "Mr. Spreadsheet" shows how to maximize your Excel experience using professional spreadsheet application development tips from his own personal bookshelf. Check out Excel 2013 Power Programming with VBA today!


Leave your own comment:

  Notify me about new comments ONLY FOR THIS TIP
Notify me about new comments ANYWHERE ON THIS SITE
Hide my email address
*What is 5+3 (To prevent automated submissions and spam.)
           Commenting Terms

Comments for this tip:

Arthur    30 Oct 2014, 19:47
Hi thank you so much, I couldĀ“t do this only with maxfrecuency, but this fuction is better :)

Our Company

Sharon Parq Associates, Inc.

About Tips.Net

Contact Us


Advertise with Us

Our Privacy Policy

Our Sites


Beauty and Style




DriveTips (Google Drive)

ExcelTips (Excel 97–2003)

ExcelTips (Excel 2007–2016)



Home Improvement

Money and Finances


Pests and Bugs

Pets and Animals

WindowsTips (Microsoft Windows)

WordTips (Word 97–2003)

WordTips (Word 2007–2016)

Our Products

Helpful E-books

Newsletter Archives


Excel Products

Word Products

Our Authors

Author Index

Write for Tips.Net

Copyright © 2016 Sharon Parq Associates, Inc.