Excel COLUMN Function

HomeExcel Functions List (Top 100) Examples + Sample FileExcel COLUMN Function (Example + Sample File)

What is EXCEL COLUMN FUNCTION

The Excel COLUMN Function is listed under Microsoft Excel's Lookup Functions category. It returns the column number for the given cell reference. As you know, every cell reference is made up of a column number and a row number. So it takes the column number and returns it in the result.

How to use it

To learn how to use the COLUMN function in Excel, you need to understand its syntax and arguments:

Syntax

COLUMN([reference])

Arguments

  • reference: A cell reference for which you want to get the column number.

Notes

  • You cannot refer to multiple references.
  • If you refer to an array, the column function will also return the column numbers in an array.
  • If you refer to a range of more than one cell, it will return the column number of the leftmost cell. For example, if you refer to the range A1:C10, it will return the column number of the cell A1.
  • If you skip to specify a reference, it will return the column number of the current cell.

Example

To master COLUMN function we need to try it out in an example, so make sure to check out the below one:

In the below example, we have used COLUMN to get the column number of the cell A1.

As I have already mentioned, if you skip specifying cell reference it will return the column number of the current cell.

In the below example, we have used COLUMN to create a header with serial numbers.

Related functions

This tutorial is the part of our Excel Functions with Examples (Function Guide) and below are some of the related functions:

About the Author

Puneet Gogia

Puneet is using Excel since his college days. He helped thousands of people to understand the power of the spreadsheets and learn Microsoft Excel. You can find him online, tweeting about Excel, on a running track, or sometimes hiking up a mountain.