Column  A   B   C   D   E          
Row 2   X   
Row 3      X
This is how the spreadsheet looks with the lines.  Assume that Column (5) has the below "x" inside. I would like to create a formula that will show column A2 thru H2, if I inpute an "x" inside either column cell it will return with a specific number e.g.  A2=5, B2=4, C2=3, D2=2 and likeso.  Thanks for your help?

Hi Tanya,

If I understand your question correctly, there is no simple combination of existing worksheet functions that will do this.  For this reason I wrote a simple user-defined function (UDF) to do it:

Function FindX(R As Range) As Integer
  'returns the inverse index of the first "X" found in the range R
  Dim i    As Integer
  For i = 1 To R.Cells.Count
     If Ucase(R.Cells(i)) = "X" Then GoTo FoundX
  Next i
  FindX = 0   'X not found
  Exit Function
  FindX = R.Cells.Count - i + 1
End Function

Simply place this code in a standard macro module in your workbook*.

Then you can use the function like this:

=FindX(A2:H2)       (this should yield a value of 5 if the X is in cell A2, 4 if in B2, etc.)

Note that if there is no X in the specified range the function will yield 0.  If there are multiple Xs, FindX will yield the number for the first (leftmost) X found.  Note also that you can use either upper or lower case X, but FindX will look for no other character.

I hope you find this helpful.


* to place the code in a macro module, go to the Visual Basic Editor (keyboard Alt-TMV), then insert a new macro module (Alt-IM), then paste the code into the Code pane.

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Damon Ostrander


I have extensive experience with VBA programming in Excel 5 through Excel 2013. As a former aerospace engineer with a large aerospace corporation and consultant in a small defense technology services company, I have developed a wide range of applications in VBA, including simulations involving mixed-language programming, satellite orbit mechanics, graphics and animation, and real-time applications. I am interested in moderate to hard VBA-related questions only.


I have developed and taught several courses in Excel VBA programming and also VBA programming in Office 97, 2000, and 2007. I have developed a number of large technical applications in Excel VBA for use within the aerospace industry.

B.S. in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, University of California, Berkeley.

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