#### How to count the maximum number of consecutives?

```I need to determine the maximum number of consecutive negative numbers in a
column.  The column contains formulas that evaluate to a positive number, a
negative number, zero or "" (blank).  I cannot add an additional column.  The
following are the results of formulas in cells A1:A11 that need a formula in
A12 that evaluates to 3, the maximum number of consecutive negative numbers
counting cells A2, A6 and A7.

1
-2
""
""
""
-6
-7
8
-9
""
-11

```
 0
Utf
1/1/2010 9:17:01 PM
excel.worksheet.functions 4936 articles. 2 followers.

9 Replies
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```You're sure you can't us an extra column somewhere??  Even a hidden one?
There are many examples of how to do this published on the internet (search
for a phrase like "find sequence of negative numbers in excel" and you'll see
them).  But almost all involve a 'helper' column.  My own solution required a
helper column also, and I was looking for one without it.
Could you accept a User Defined Function (a VB macro that you can use on a
worksheet just like a built in function)?

"JP" wrote:

> I need to determine the maximum number of consecutive negative numbers in a
> column.  The column contains formulas that evaluate to a positive number, a
> negative number, zero or "" (blank).  I cannot add an additional column.  The
> following are the results of formulas in cells A1:A11 that need a formula in
> A12 that evaluates to 3, the maximum number of consecutive negative numbers
> counting cells A2, A6 and A7.
>
> 1
> -2
> ""
> ""
> ""
> -6
> -7
> 8
> -9
> ""
> -11
>
```
 0
Utf
1/2/2010 1:30:01 AM
```Try this array formula** :

=MAX(FREQUENCY(IF(A1:A11<0,ROW(A1:A11)),IF(A1:A11>=0,IF(A1:A11<>"",ROW(A1:A11)))))

** array formulas need to be entered using the key combination of
CTRL,SHIFT,ENTER (not just ENTER). Hold down both the CTRL key and the SHIFT
key then hit ENTER.

--
Biff
Microsoft Excel MVP

"JP" <JP@discussions.microsoft.com> wrote in message
news:29043AFA-6F71-42EB-992A-2AA4547BAFEF@microsoft.com...
>I need to determine the maximum number of consecutive negative numbers in a
> column.  The column contains formulas that evaluate to a positive number,
> a
> negative number, zero or "" (blank).  I cannot add an additional column.
> The
> following are the results of formulas in cells A1:A11 that need a formula
> in
> A12 that evaluates to 3, the maximum number of consecutive negative
> numbers
> counting cells A2, A6 and A7.
>
> 1
> -2
> ""
> ""
> ""
> -6
> -7
> 8
> -9
> ""
> -11
>

```
 0
T
1/2/2010 3:38:39 AM
```Thanks very much for your reply but I can't use a hidden column and I need to
avoid user-defined functions and macros.  If it is not possible using a
formula or array formula, then at least I'll know that and can stop

"JLatham" wrote:

> You're sure you can't us an extra column somewhere??  Even a hidden one?
> There are many examples of how to do this published on the internet (search
> for a phrase like "find sequence of negative numbers in excel" and you'll see
> them).  But almost all involve a 'helper' column.  My own solution required a
> helper column also, and I was looking for one without it.
> Could you accept a User Defined Function (a VB macro that you can use on a
> worksheet just like a built in function)?
>
>
> "JP" wrote:
>
> > I need to determine the maximum number of consecutive negative numbers in a
> > column.  The column contains formulas that evaluate to a positive number, a
> > negative number, zero or "" (blank).  I cannot add an additional column.  The
> > following are the results of formulas in cells A1:A11 that need a formula in
> > A12 that evaluates to 3, the maximum number of consecutive negative numbers
> > counting cells A2, A6 and A7.
> >
> > 1
> > -2
> > ""
> > ""
> > ""
> > -6
> > -7
> > 8
> > -9
> > ""
> > -11
> >
```
 0
Utf
1/2/2010 9:50:01 AM
```Thank you for your reply.  This is the type of solution I've been looking for
but it evaluates incorrectly to 2 rather than 3 (using my example).

"T. Valko" wrote:

> Try this array formula** :
>
> =MAX(FREQUENCY(IF(A1:A11<0,ROW(A1:A11)),IF(A1:A11>=0,IF(A1:A11<>"",ROW(A1:A11)))))
>
> ** array formulas need to be entered using the key combination of
> CTRL,SHIFT,ENTER (not just ENTER). Hold down both the CTRL key and the SHIFT
> key then hit ENTER.
>
> --
> Biff
> Microsoft Excel MVP
>
>
> "JP" <JP@discussions.microsoft.com> wrote in message
> news:29043AFA-6F71-42EB-992A-2AA4547BAFEF@microsoft.com...
> >I need to determine the maximum number of consecutive negative numbers in a
> > column.  The column contains formulas that evaluate to a positive number,
> > a
> > negative number, zero or "" (blank).  I cannot add an additional column.
> > The
> > following are the results of formulas in cells A1:A11 that need a formula
> > in
> > A12 that evaluates to 3, the maximum number of consecutive negative
> > numbers
> > counting cells A2, A6 and A7.
> >
> > 1
> > -2
> > ""
> > ""
> > ""
> > -6
> > -7
> > 8
> > -9
> > ""
> > -11
> >
>
>
> .
>
```
 0
Utf
1/2/2010 9:57:01 AM
```My error, it evaluates perfectly.  Thank you so much, T. Valko!  I've been
working on this for a long time and it's finally solved thanks to you.

Best regards,
JP

"JP" wrote:

> Thank you for your reply.  This is the type of solution I've been looking for
> but it evaluates incorrectly to 2 rather than 3 (using my example).
>
> "T. Valko" wrote:
>
> > Try this array formula** :
> >
> > =MAX(FREQUENCY(IF(A1:A11<0,ROW(A1:A11)),IF(A1:A11>=0,IF(A1:A11<>"",ROW(A1:A11)))))
> >
> > ** array formulas need to be entered using the key combination of
> > CTRL,SHIFT,ENTER (not just ENTER). Hold down both the CTRL key and the SHIFT
> > key then hit ENTER.
> >
> > --
> > Biff
> > Microsoft Excel MVP
> >
> >
> > "JP" <JP@discussions.microsoft.com> wrote in message
> > news:29043AFA-6F71-42EB-992A-2AA4547BAFEF@microsoft.com...
> > >I need to determine the maximum number of consecutive negative numbers in a
> > > column.  The column contains formulas that evaluate to a positive number,
> > > a
> > > negative number, zero or "" (blank).  I cannot add an additional column.
> > > The
> > > following are the results of formulas in cells A1:A11 that need a formula
> > > in
> > > A12 that evaluates to 3, the maximum number of consecutive negative
> > > numbers
> > > counting cells A2, A6 and A7.
> > >
> > > 1
> > > -2
> > > ""
> > > ""
> > > ""
> > > -6
> > > -7
> > > 8
> > > -9
> > > ""
> > > -11
> > >
> >
> >
> > .
> >
```
 0
Utf
1/2/2010 10:03:01 AM
```This works perfectly, many many thanks and happy New Year to you.

"T. Valko" wrote:

> Try this array formula** :
>
> =MAX(FREQUENCY(IF(A1:A11<0,ROW(A1:A11)),IF(A1:A11>=0,IF(A1:A11<>"",ROW(A1:A11)))))
>
> ** array formulas need to be entered using the key combination of
> CTRL,SHIFT,ENTER (not just ENTER). Hold down both the CTRL key and the SHIFT
> key then hit ENTER.
>
> --
> Biff
> Microsoft Excel MVP
>
>
> "JP" <JP@discussions.microsoft.com> wrote in message
> news:29043AFA-6F71-42EB-992A-2AA4547BAFEF@microsoft.com...
> >I need to determine the maximum number of consecutive negative numbers in a
> > column.  The column contains formulas that evaluate to a positive number,
> > a
> > negative number, zero or "" (blank).  I cannot add an additional column.
> > The
> > following are the results of formulas in cells A1:A11 that need a formula
> > in
> > A12 that evaluates to 3, the maximum number of consecutive negative
> > numbers
> > counting cells A2, A6 and A7.
> >
> > 1
> > -2
> > ""
> > ""
> > ""
> > -6
> > -7
> > 8
> > -9
> > ""
> > -11
> >
>
>
> .
>
```
 0
Utf
1/2/2010 10:05:01 AM
```I finally understand how this is working.  It's a brilliant and elegant
solution that is greatly appreciated.  Thanks once again, Biff and happy
trails.

JP

"T. Valko" wrote:

> Try this array formula** :
>
> =MAX(FREQUENCY(IF(A1:A11<0,ROW(A1:A11)),IF(A1:A11>=0,IF(A1:A11<>"",ROW(A1:A11)))))
>
> ** array formulas need to be entered using the key combination of
> CTRL,SHIFT,ENTER (not just ENTER). Hold down both the CTRL key and the SHIFT
> key then hit ENTER.
>
> --
> Biff
> Microsoft Excel MVP
>
>
> "JP" <JP@discussions.microsoft.com> wrote in message
> news:29043AFA-6F71-42EB-992A-2AA4547BAFEF@microsoft.com...
> >I need to determine the maximum number of consecutive negative numbers in a
> > column.  The column contains formulas that evaluate to a positive number,
> > a
> > negative number, zero or "" (blank).  I cannot add an additional column.
> > The
> > following are the results of formulas in cells A1:A11 that need a formula
> > in
> > A12 that evaluates to 3, the maximum number of consecutive negative
> > numbers
> > counting cells A2, A6 and A7.
> >
> > 1
> > -2
> > ""
> > ""
> > ""
> > -6
> > -7
> > 8
> > -9
> > ""
> > -11
> >
>
>
> .
>
```
 0
Utf
1/2/2010 1:32:01 PM
```You're welcome. Thanks for the feedback!

--
Biff
Microsoft Excel MVP

"JP" <JP@discussions.microsoft.com> wrote in message
news:A5D8D2FD-C20A-4915-A3BA-154735D00967@microsoft.com...
>I finally understand how this is working.  It's a brilliant and elegant
> solution that is greatly appreciated.  Thanks once again, Biff and happy
> trails.
>
> JP
>
>
> "T. Valko" wrote:
>
>> Try this array formula** :
>>
>> =MAX(FREQUENCY(IF(A1:A11<0,ROW(A1:A11)),IF(A1:A11>=0,IF(A1:A11<>"",ROW(A1:A11)))))
>>
>> ** array formulas need to be entered using the key combination of
>> CTRL,SHIFT,ENTER (not just ENTER). Hold down both the CTRL key and the
>> SHIFT
>> key then hit ENTER.
>>
>> --
>> Biff
>> Microsoft Excel MVP
>>
>>
>> "JP" <JP@discussions.microsoft.com> wrote in message
>> news:29043AFA-6F71-42EB-992A-2AA4547BAFEF@microsoft.com...
>> >I need to determine the maximum number of consecutive negative numbers
>> >in a
>> > column.  The column contains formulas that evaluate to a positive
>> > number,
>> > a
>> > negative number, zero or "" (blank).  I cannot add an additional
>> > column.
>> > The
>> > following are the results of formulas in cells A1:A11 that need a
>> > formula
>> > in
>> > A12 that evaluates to 3, the maximum number of consecutive negative
>> > numbers
>> > counting cells A2, A6 and A7.
>> >
>> > 1
>> > -2
>> > ""
>> > ""
>> > ""
>> > -6
>> > -7
>> > 8
>> > -9
>> > ""
>> > -11
>> >
>>
>>
>> .
>>

```
 0
T
1/2/2010 4:12:16 PM
```As you now know, there's almost always a solution (key word 'almost'), and in
this case I just kind of figured if Biff couldn't do it, it couldn't be done.

"JP" wrote:

> Thanks very much for your reply but I can't use a hidden column and I need to
> avoid user-defined functions and macros.  If it is not possible using a
> formula or array formula, then at least I'll know that and can stop
> trying--so I appreciate your help.
>
> "JLatham" wrote:
>
> > You're sure you can't us an extra column somewhere??  Even a hidden one?
> > There are many examples of how to do this published on the internet (search
> > for a phrase like "find sequence of negative numbers in excel" and you'll see
> > them).  But almost all involve a 'helper' column.  My own solution required a
> > helper column also, and I was looking for one without it.
> > Could you accept a User Defined Function (a VB macro that you can use on a
> > worksheet just like a built in function)?
> >
> >
> > "JP" wrote:
> >
> > > I need to determine the maximum number of consecutive negative numbers in a
> > > column.  The column contains formulas that evaluate to a positive number, a
> > > negative number, zero or "" (blank).  I cannot add an additional column.  The
> > > following are the results of formulas in cells A1:A11 that need a formula in
> > > A12 that evaluates to 3, the maximum number of consecutive negative numbers
> > > counting cells A2, A6 and A7.
> > >
> > > 1
> > > -2
> > > ""
> > > ""
> > > ""
> > > -6
> > > -7
> > > 8
> > > -9
> > > ""
> > > -11
> > >
```
 0
Utf
1/2/2010 11:19:01 PM

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