where data is the named range B5:D10. If you want only the first column number, you can use the MIN function to extract just the first column number, which will be the lowest number in the array: Once we have the first column, we can add the total columns in the range and subtract 1 to get the last column number.

Index version

Instead of MIN, you can also use INDEX to get the last row number: This is possibly a bit faster for large ranges, since INDEX just supplies a single cell to COLUMN.

Simple version

When a formula returns an array result, Excel will display the first item in the array if the formula is entered in a single cell. This means that in practice, you can sometimes use a simplified version of the formula: But be aware that this will return an array for a multi-column range. Inside formulas, it’s sometimes necessary to make sure you are dealing with only one item, and not an array. In that case, you’ll want to use the full version above.

Dave Bruns

Hi - I’m Dave Bruns, and I run Exceljet with my wife, Lisa. Our goal is to help you work faster in Excel. We create short videos, and clear examples of formulas, functions, pivot tables, conditional formatting, and charts.