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: Last Non-Zero Value in a Row.

Last Non-Zero Value in a Row

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated May 27, 2017)

Brian has a row of numbers with 240 cells. In this row, the numbers are steadily declining and will eventually, at some point in those 240 cells, become 0. The zeroes will continue to fill the remaining cells in the row. Brian needs to write an equation that will return the last non-zero value in the row.

There are a variety of ways that the desired value can be returned. (Doesn't that always seem to be the case with Excel? You can come up with lots of ways to get a result.) In general, you could use a regular formula or an array formula.

If you want to use a regular formula, here's one you can try:

=OFFSET(A6,0,(COUNT(A6:IF6)-COUNTIF(A6:IF6,0))-1)

The COUNTIF function counts the number of zero values and the COUNT function determines the number of cells in the range. Subtracting one from the other and adjusting by 1 gives the OFFSET value into the "array" of cells where the last non-zero value lies. This formula assumes that the values begin in column A; if they begin in a different column then you'll need to adjust the value provided by the COUNT/COUNTIF portion of the formula to represent the offset from the first column.

Here's a shorter variation of the formula, based on doing an offset from the right side of the range rather than the left side:

=OFFSET(IF6,0,-COUNTIF(A6:IF6,0))

In this instance it is important that IF6 be the actual right end of the range. The formula works by counting the number of zero values in the range (all at the right side of the range) and then computing the cell address of the last cell (IF6) minus the number of zeros.

Here is a version that uses the INDEX function, instead:

=INDEX(A6:IF6,,MATCH(0,A6:IF6,0)-1)

This version is even shorter, using the LOOKUP function:

=LOOKUP(1,1/(6:6>0),6:6)

Array formulas can also be used. (Array formulas are entered by pressing Ctrl+Shift+Enter.) This one uses the INDIRECT function:

=INDIRECT("R6C" & MAX((A6:IF6>0)*COLUMN(A6:IF6)),FALSE)

This array formula uses an interesting implementation of the LOOKUP function to find the correct result:

=LOOKUP(9.99999999999999E+307,IF(A6:IF6<>0,A6:IF6))

Here's another array formula that can be used, this time using the OFFSET function to find the last non-zero value in row 6:

=OFFSET(A6,0,MIN(IF(6:6=0,COLUMN(6:6),300))-2)

Here's an even shorter variation:

=MIN(IF(A6:IF6>0,A6:IF6))

All of these formulas presented so far depend on the fact that the numbers in the row actually do decline—they go from whatever the beginning number is and steadily go toward zero. If the numbers don't decline, then you can use a different type of array formula to determine the last non-zero value in the row:

=INDEX(6:6,MAX(IF(A6:IF6<>0,COLUMN(A6:IF6))))

The formula first determines the maximum column in the row (in this case row 6) that has a value not equal to zero, then it uses the INDEX function to get the value from that column in that row.

As you can tell, there are quite a few ways to find the last non-zero value in a row. Pick the one that strikes your fancy; there is no right or wrong in this instance.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (11250) 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: Last Non-Zero Value in a Row.

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

Controlling Sorting Order

When you sort information in a worksheet, you have control over the order in which that information is sorted. Here's a quick ...

Discover More

Creating a Table of Contents from Heading Levels

If your document is any length at all, adding a table of contents is a nice touch. This tip demonstrates how easy it is to ...

Discover More

A Shortcut for Switching Focus

While not technically an Excel-only tip, the shortcuts described in this tip will help you switch focus from your workbook to ...

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 (ribbon)

Searching for a Value Using a Function

Searching for a value using Excel's Find tool is easy; searching for that same value using a formula or a macro is more ...

Discover More

Entering Formulas in Excel

The primary way you signify that you are entering a formula is to start a cell entry with an equal sign. The equal sign is ...

Discover More

Relative References within Named Ranges

Excel is usually more flexible in what you can reference in formulas than is immediately apparent. This tip examines some ...

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 8 - 2?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


This Site

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.

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.