Cedric has a need to determine the value of the second-to-last cell in column to which he routinely adds values. He has seen formulas for grabbing the last value, but not the second-to-last.

There are many formulatic ways you could approach this need. In many respects, the method you choose will depend on the characteristics of the data in the column. Let's assume that your data is in column A, that it is numeric, and that there are no blanks in any of the cells in the column. In that case, you could use the following formula:

=INDEX(A:A,COUNT(A:A)-1)

Note that this formula will not return the correct result if there are any text values in column A—even if that text value is in a heading. If you want to compensate for the heading, you could modify the formula in this manner. (Note that it only checks the range of A2:A1000. If your data extends beyond row 1,000, then you'll need to modify the range specified.)

=INDEX(A2:A1000,COUNT(A2:A1000)-1)

If your numeric data may contain empty cells, then any of the following formulas will work just fine:

=OFFSET(INDIRECT("A"&MATCH(9^9,A:A)),-1,0) =INDEX(A:A,MATCH(9.9E+23,A:A,1)-1,1) =INDEX(A:A,(MATCH(LOOKUP(10000,A:A),A:A)-1),1) =INDEX(A:A,AGGREGATE(14,6,ROW(A:A)*A:A/A:A,2))

You should recognize that if the second-to-last cell in the column is empty, then these formulas will return 0. (Well, except for the formula that uses the AGGREGATE function. It returns the value in the first non-empty cell before the second-to-last cell.)

If your data in column A can contain either numbers or text (but still no empty cells), then you need a different formula. Either of these will do:

=INDEX(A:A,COUNTA(A:A)-1,1) =INDIRECT("A"&COUNTA(A:A)-1)

If there may be empty cells in your data, then you could use either of the following:

=INDEX(A:A,MATCH(LOOKUP(2,1/(A:A<>""),A:A),A:A,0)-1) =INDEX(A:A,LOOKUP(2,1/(A:A<>""),ROW(A:A))-1)

Again, if the second-to-last cell is empty, then the formula returns 0.

Finally, you could also use the following type of formula, provided that your cells in the column use a named range (in this case MyData). Remember, though, that as you add more information to the column, you'll need to make sure that the named range includes the added data.

=INDEX(MyData,ROWS(MyData)-1)

You should note that virtually all of the formulas mentioned in this tip use a -1 in them. This indicates you don't want the last cell in the range, but the second-to-last ("one up" from the bottom of the range). If you want a different offset from the bottom of the range, you can change this portion of each formula. For instance, if you wanted 2 cells up from the bottom of the range, you would change all instances of -1 to -2.

*ExcelTips* is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training.
This tip (1523) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, and 2016.

**Professional Development Guidance!** Four world-class developers offer start-to-finish guidance for building powerful, robust, and secure applications with Excel. The authors show how to consistently make the right design decisions and make the most of Excel's powerful features. Check out *Professional Excel Development* today!

ISBN numbers are used to denote a unique identifier for a published book. If you remove the dashes included in an ISBN, ...

Discover MoreWant to add up all the digits in a given value? It's a bit trickier than it may at first seem.

Discover MoreIf you want to limit what is returned by a formula to something between lower and upper boundaries, the solution is to ...

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

2017-08-25 16:28:13

MIchael Armstrong

Could you transpose the column and take the 2ndrow?

2017-08-24 12:30:03

Dennis Costello

Note that Microsoft says "might not return the correct value" - basically, they're saying "all bets are off - and we might change this behavior in the next version of Excel without notice".

I've always used VLOOKUP or occasionally HLOOKUP and never LOOKUP; it's intriguing to think of using it as he did here - with constructed values instead of simple ranges of cells as you would V/HLOOKUP. And chances are it will continue to work as shown here through multiple versions of Excel.

2017-02-07 08:56:53

Michael (Micky) Avidan

The following formula (presented in the above tip) returns the secon-to-last-value in column "A":

=INDEX(A:A,LOOKUP(2,1/(A:A<>""),ROW(A:A))-1)

*** Not all VBA command have a parallel sheet function

--------------------------

Michael (Micky) Avidan

“Microsoft® Answers" - Wiki author & Forums Moderator

“Microsoft®” MVP – Excel (2009-2017)

ISRAEL

2017-02-06 21:34:47

Bryce

Yes, offset as required, I'm usually finding the next available line rather than second last. Haven't found the equivalent in formula yet that works from the bottom up. Some very useful tips here.

2017-02-06 10:26:27

Michael (Micky) Avidan

According to this tip subject - I assume you meant:

Second_To_Last = Cells(Rows.Count, 1).End(xlUp).Offset(-1, 0)

--------------------------

Michael (Micky) Avidan

“Microsoft® Answers" - Wiki author & Forums Moderator

“Microsoft®” MVP – Excel (2009-2017)

ISRAEL

2017-02-05 22:58:54

Bryce

Cells(Rows.Count, 1).End(xlUp).Offset(1, 0).Select

to get to the last line.

Gets there from the bottom of the sheet going up to the first used cell, then offsets for selection.

2017-02-05 13:19:17

Yvan Loranger

b1=isblank(a1)

& replicate b1 down as far as needed.

Have d5 or whatever cell

=INDIRECT(ADDRESS(MATCH("TRUE",B1:B456,0)-2,1,1))

The -2 is to backtrack from 1st empty cell up to last value in column then up to 2nd-last value.

2017-02-04 05:47:12

Alex B

=INDEX(MyData,ROWS(MyData)-1)

The table will automatically expand the range.

The table version will looks a more like this:

=INDEX(Table1[COL2],ROWS(Table1[COL2])-1)

Got a version of Excel that uses the
ribbon interface (Excel 2007 or later)?
**This site is for you!** If you
use an earlier version of Excel, visit
our *ExcelTips* site focusing on the menu interface.

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

Copyright © 2021 Sharon Parq Associates, Inc.

## Comments