What is a Column in Excel


- Written by Puneet

A column in Excel is a vertical alignment of cells. Each column has its unique address, which is labeled as an alphabet (from A to XFD). And there are more than one million cells in a single column and there are a total of 16384 columns that you have in a single worksheet.


Select a Column

To select a column, you simply need to click on the header of the column where you have the column alphabet, and it will select the entire column from the first cell to the last.


Another way to select an entire column is to use the keyboard shortcut. Once you select any of the cells from the column that you want to select, press, and hold the control key, and then press the spacebar. This will select the entire column.

Related: Keyboard Shortcuts for Excel (PDF Cheat Sheet)

Referring to a Column in Excel

As I said and you can also see in the above snapshot that each column has its unique name, which is made up of the alphabet. Now, to refer to a column, you need to use its name. If you want to refer to column A, then you need to use its address like A:A.


In the above example, you can see we are referring to column A by using its address in the sum function. Now if you want to refer to multiple columns you can use an address that refers to the multiple columns.


Now in the above example, we are referring to the four columns from A to D and in the address, we have used the A:D which means from column A to column D.


And in the above example, we are referring to two columns that are non-continues and we have used refer to them using their address separately using a comma in between.

What is the Last Column in Excel

The last column in Excel is column XFD. In a single worksheet, there are 16384 columns. This count is fixed you can’t add more columns to a single worksheet and if you want to add more data, you need to insert a new worksheet which further will have 16384 columns.


Can I Have the Column Name as a Number?

Yes, you can have a column name as a number instead of an alphabet. For this, you need to change the reference style to R1C1.


With R1C1, you can change the column reference, and this allows you to refer to a column using a number. For this go to the File Tab ➜ Options ➜ Working with formulas. Then tick mark “R1C1 reference style”.


But before switching to it make sure to read about it.

Last Updated: October 29, 2023