COLUMN function

This article describes the formula syntax and usage of the COLUMN  function in Microsoft Excel. Find links to more information about formatting columns in the See Also section.

Description

Returns the column number of the given cell reference. For example, the formula =COLUMN(D10) returns 4, because column D is the fourth column.

Syntax

COLUMN([reference])

The COLUMN function syntax has the following argument:

  • reference    Optional. The cell or range of cells for which you want to return the column number.

    • If the reference argument is omitted or refers to a range of cells, and if the COLUMN function is entered as a horizontal array formula, the COLUMN function returns the column numbers of reference as a horizontal array.

      To enter a formula as an array formula    Starting with the formula cell, select the range that you want to contain the array formula. Press F2, and then press CTRL+SHIFT+ENTER.

      Note    In Excel Online you cannot create array formulas.

    • If the reference argument is a range of cells, and if the COLUMN function is not entered as a horizontal array formula, the COLUMN function returns the number of the leftmost column.

    • If the reference argument is omitted, it is assumed to be the reference of the cell in which the COLUMN function appears.

    • The reference argument cannot refer to multiple areas.

Example

Copy the example data in the following table, and paste it in cell A1 of a new Excel worksheet. For formulas to show results, select them, press F2, and then press Enter. If you need to, you can adjust the column widths to see all the data.

Formula

Description

Result

=COLUMN()

Column in which the formula appears

3

=COLUMN(B6)

Column number of the reference B6

2

Applies To: Excel 2010, Excel Starter, Excel 2013, Excel Online, Excel 2016 for Mac, Excel for Mac 2011, Excel 2007



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