Go Back

Excel COLUMN Function

We can use the excel COLUMN function to return the column number for a reference. Column function returns columns as numbers. For instance, Column B is 2 and Column C is 3. Without a reference, COLUMN function will return the column number of the cell containing the formula. The steps below will walk through the process.

Figure 1: How to Use Excel Column Function

Syntax

=COLUMN(REFERENCE)

Formula

=COLUMN(B4)

Setting up the Data

  • We will set up data by inputting our Values in Column B
  • The COLUMN Function will return the result in Column C
  • We will use Cell E4 without a reference

Figure 2: Setting up the Data

Applying the COLUMN Function

  • We will click on Cell C4
  • We will insert the formula below into the cell
    =COLUMN(B4)
  • We will press the enter key

Figure 3: Returned Column number for Cell B4

  • We will click on Cell C4 again
  • We will double click on the fill handle tool which is the small plus sign you see at the bottom right of Cell C4. Select and drag down to copy the formula to other cells.

Figure 4: Returned Column number for Cell B4 to Cell B6

  • We will insert the formula without a reference into Cell E4 and press enter
    =COLUMN()

Figure 5: Returned Column number without a reference for Cell E4

Notes

 

  • Column function returns the number of the first column in a range. For instance,=COLUMN(E4:G6) will return 5 as the result because the first column is Column E
  • Reference cannot include multiple references or addresses

Instant Connection to an Expert through our Excelchat Service

Most of the time, the problem you will need to solve will be more complex than a simple application of a formula or function. If you want to save hours of research and frustration, try our live Excelchat service! Our Excel Experts are available 24/7 to answer any Excel question you may have. We guarantee a connection within 30 seconds and a customized solution within 20 minutes.

Did this post not answer your question? Get a solution from connecting with the expert.

Another blog reader asked this question today on Excelchat:
Here are some problems that our users have asked and received explanations on

I have three column i.e Column A, Column B, Column C. I have hided Column . I am copying two column values from another excel sheet and pasting into Column A , hided Column B and Column C by selecting all three column. Now I want to paste only into Column A and Column C. How to do this?
Solved by G. H. in 17 mins
Column A Column B Column C Column D Column E Column G Column H CAT CAT COW COW 5 CAT 5 DOG DOG GOAT GOAT 9 I have the above data Column A ,Column B and Column C in one sheet and Column D and Column E in another sheet. I need a formula to sum corresponding value on Column E when I enter the data as CAT OR Dog in Column G in Column H (something like above)
Solved by T. A. in 29 mins
If column F = Small column J will be date from column H minus 60 days If Column F = Medium Column J will be date from column H minus 120 days If Column F = Large column J will be date from Column H minus 180 days
Solved by A. A. in 24 mins

Leave a Comment

avatar