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Finding the Last-Used Cell in a Macro

Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, and 2016. If you are using an earlier version (Excel 2003 or earlier), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for earlier versions of Excel, click here: Finding the Last-Used Cell in a Macro.

If you are working in a worksheet, you know that you can press Ctrl+End to jump to the last-cell in the worksheet. The shortcut chooses the cell that represents the intersection of the last column containing data and the last row containing data. Thus, if the last column in which you have data is column F, and the last row in which you have data is row 27, then Ctrl+End will select cell F27.

To do this same task from a macro, you use a very simple command, as shown here:

Sub FindLast1()
    ActiveCell.SpecialCells(xlLastCell).Select
End Sub

This is functionally the same as pressing Ctrl+End. However (and this is a big issue), Excel doesn't dynamically keep track of which rows and columns are the last used in a worksheet. For instance, let's suppose that you open a workbook, press Ctrl+End, and you are taken to cell F27. If you then delete three rows and one column, you would expect that Ctrl+End would take you to cell E24. It doesn't; it still takes you to cell F27 until you save the workbook and reopen it.

This same problem affects the macro code shown in the FindLast1 macro; it will take you to the "highest" cell, regardless of which columns or rows you have deleted during the current session.

What's needed is a way to reset the "last cell" indicator, just as if you had saved and reopened the workbook. There is no intrinsic macro command that does that, but there is a way to force Excel to do the reset. All you need to do is adjust the macro as follows:

Sub FindLast2()
    x = ActiveSheet.UsedRange.Rows.Count
    ActiveCell.SpecialCells(xlLastCell).Select
End Sub

This macro always takes you to the proper cell—it works as you would expect Ctrl+End to always work. It works because apparently Excel, when it calculates the Count property for the number of rows in the worksheet, always resets the "last cell" indicator.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (11526) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, and 2016. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Excel here: Finding the Last-Used Cell in a Macro.

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Comments for this tip:

Scott Renz    16 Nov 2015, 12:55
I just put the command:

ActiveSheet.UsedRange

before anywhere that I need to know what the last row or column is such as:

ActiveSheet.UsedRange
LastRow = Cells.Specialcells(xllastcell).row
Barry    16 Nov 2015, 06:04
@Andrew

The followiong will return the last value:

Function LastCellinColumn(Col As String) As String

    LastCellinColumn = Range(Col & Rows.Count).End(xlUp).Value
 
End Function

You might want to check out the non macro solutions in this tip: http://excelribbon.tips.net/T011030_Referencing_the_Last_Cell_in_a_Column.html
DaveS    16 Nov 2015, 05:36
@AM
You can determine the last populated row in column lCol using:

Activesheet.Cells(Row.Count, lCol).End(xlUp).Row

This works with columns containing values; from memory, there may be complications in a column containing formulas which can return blank.
Barry    16 Nov 2015, 05:30
@Andrew,

There's several ways to do this dpending a little on how you want to specify the column and what the result is. The following is a 'function' with the column label passed as a parameter (e.g. "A") and returns the address as a string:

Function LastCellinColumn(Col As String) As String

    LastCellinColumn = Range(Col & Rows.Count).End(xlUp).Address
 
End Function
Andrew McQuillen    16 Nov 2015, 03:26
Is there a way to modify this macro to find the last cell in a particular column.
say I have some data produced and it is in varying lengths dependent on how long the test ran for. but I want to know what the value of the last piece of data was, compared with the first.
How could I get the last piece of data without reordering the columns.

Thanks
Andrew
Alex B    15 Nov 2015, 23:19
I think you will find that the statement

ActiveSheet.UsedRange

will reset the "last cell" indicator.

You can try it by
deleting a few rows and
testing Ctrl+End
then running the command in the immediate window
and then try Ctrl+End again.



Willy Vanhaelen    14 Nov 2015, 08:10
Here is a one liner of the second macro:

Sub ResetLastCell()
   ActiveSheet.UsedRange.SpecialCells(xlLastCell).Select
End Sub
Matthew    14 Nov 2015, 06:51
I dig this approach and I'm going to play with it for dynamic reporting workbooks. Right now I'm creating individual sheets and storing counts in variables so that I can produce an "overview" sheet at the end _and_ show where I got the numbers (individual sheets).
Matthew    14 Nov 2015, 06:46
I get around the "visible cells" hitch by copying everything to a new sheet (with the filter turned-on) in the macro. It's a little slower and not as slick in the code, but I'm dealing with smaller amounts of flat text multiple times a day.

In this application I find it faster because the filters are permanent changes and if I need "lastRow" I use it and if I need "lastCol" I use that.

Maybe I'm wrong, but I can knock out macro solutions to "one-offs" quickly.
Matthew    14 Nov 2015, 06:38
I actually (re-)calculate two variables "lastRow" and "lastCol" before I use them in formulas. (lastRow much more often than lastCol.) I found that this is more flexible and it always returns an integer.
 
 

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