Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Excel in Office 365. 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: Jumping to the Real Last Cell.

Jumping to the Real Last Cell

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated September 21, 2019)

Diane wrote about a problem she was having with a file imported into Excel. The file, created by a non-Excel program, contains 50,000 records, but only the first 87 records contain any data. When the file is imported, pressing Ctrl+End moves to cell J50000 instead of cell J87. Diane was wondering how to make Excel jump to the end of the real data—J87.

The first thing to try is to simply save your workbook, get out of Excel, and then reopen the workbook. Doing so "resets" the end-of-data pointer in the workbook, and you should be fine.

If that doesn't solve the problem, then it is very likely that the data you imported into Excel included non-printing characters, such as spaces. If these are loaded into cells, Excel sees them as data, even though you don't. To fix the workbook by deleting the data, select row 88 (the one right after your data) and then hold down the Shift and Ctrl keys as you press the Down Arrow. All the rows from 88 through the last row in the worksheet should be selected. Press the Delete key, save the workbook, and reopen it. Ctrl+End should work fine.

If you have quite a few of these files you need to "clean up," or if you need to do it on a regular basis, then you need a macro to help you. Consider the following macro:

Sub ClearEmpties()
    Dim c As Range
    Dim J As Long

    J = 0
    Selection.SpecialCells(xlCellTypeConstants, 23).Select
    For Each c In Selection.Cells
        J = J + 1
        StatusBar = J & " of " & Selection.Cells.Count
        c.Value = Trim(c.Value)
        If Len(c.Value) = 0 Then
            c.ClearFormats
        End If
    Next
    StatusBar = ""
End Sub

This macro selects all the cells in the worksheet that contain constants (in other words, they don't contain formulas). It then steps through each of those cells and uses the Trim function to remove any leading or trailing spaces from the contents. If the cell is then empty, any formatting is cleared from the cell.

When the macro is done, you can save and close the workbook, reopen it, and you should be able to use Ctrl+End to go to the real end of your data. If this still doesn't work, it means that the cells being imported into the workbook have some other invisible, non-printing character in them. For instance, there could be some bizarre control characters in the cells. In this case, you need to talk with whoever is creating your import file. The best solution, at this point, would be for the person to modify their program so it doesn't include the "trash" that Excel is mistaking for valid cell content.

Note:

If you would like to know how to use the macros described on this page (or on any other page on the ExcelTips sites), I've prepared a special page that includes helpful information. Click here to open that special page in a new browser tab.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (9811) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Excel in Office 365. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Excel here: Jumping to the Real Last Cell.

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. ...

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