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: Referencing the Last Cell in a Column.

Referencing the Last Cell in a Column

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated March 30, 2019)

2

Patty asked about a common scenario, in which column B contains quite a bit of data, and information can be added to the cells in the column at any time. In a formula in cell C4, Patty wants to see the value at the bottom of those cells in column B that contain values. Thus, if cells B1:B27 contain data, then in cell C4 Patty wants to see the value that is in cell B27. If three more pieces of data are added to column B, then the value in C4 should contain the value in B30.

The solution to this problem depends on whether you can count on the data in column B containing blank cells or not. If the data is contiguous—it doesn't contain any blank cells—then you can use the following formula in C4:

=INDIRECT("B"&COUNTA(B:B))

This constructs an address based on the last cell in the column, and then uses the INDIRECT function to return the value at that address.

If it is possible for there to be blanks in column B, then the following formula will work:

=INDIRECT("B"&MAX(ROW(1:65535)*(B1:B65535<>"")))

Again, the INDIRECT function is used to fetch the actual value, but the address used by INDIRECT is put together differently.

A different approach is to use the VLOOKUP function to return the value. If column B consists of numeric values, then the following formula in C4 will work just fine:

=VLOOKUP(9.99999999999999E+307,B:B,1)

If column B contains text, then the numeric lookup won't work, but the following will:

=VLOOKUP(REPT("z",50),B:B,1)

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (2103) 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: Referencing the Last Cell in a Column.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Creating Traditional Forms

Do you use Word to create printed forms? If so, here's some ideas and techniques you can use to make those forms look as ...

Discover More

Controlling Footnote Placement

Footnotes are normally placed at the bottom of the page on which the footnote is referenced. However, Word provides some ...

Discover More

Contractions Flagged as Incorrect

Word, in its never-ending quest to second-guess and try to improve your writing, may be marking your contractions as ...

Discover More

Comprehensive VBA Guide Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) is the language used for writing macros in all Office programs. This complete guide shows both professionals and novices how to master VBA in order to customize the entire Office suite for their needs. Check out Mastering VBA for Office 2010 today!

More ExcelTips (menu)

Disabling Dragging and Dropping

Excel allows you to easily paste information into a worksheet, including through simply dragging and dropping the ...

Discover More

Using an Input Mask

When you are entering information in a worksheet, it sure would be handy to have a way to "mask" the information being ...

Discover More

A Fast Find-Next

Tired of the Find and Replace dialog box blocking the view of your worksheet when you are searching for information? Do ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is 9 - 4?

2019-04-01 06:19:15

Alan Elston

This topic has been discussed recently here:
h t t p : / / w w w.eileenslounge.com/viewtopic.php?f=27&t=32108
Alan Elston


2019-03-31 04:24:47

Felix A. Keller

The formula is NOT working! (see Figure 1 below)

Figure 1. /Users/imac/Desktop/Screen Shot 2019-03-31 at 15.21.22.png


This Site

Got a version of Excel that uses the menu interface (Excel 97, Excel 2000, Excel 2002, or Excel 2003)? This site is for you! If you use a later version of Excel, visit our ExcelTips site focusing on the ribbon interface.

Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.