Tip 41: 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...