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# How to Get Relative Column Numbers in a Range

We can get a complete set of relative column numbers in a range with an array formula that is based on the COLUMN function. The steps below will walk through the process.

Figure 1: Result of Relative Column Numbers in a Range:

## General Formula

`{=COLUMN(range)-COLUMN(firstcell)+1}`

## Formula

`=COLUMN(A3:E3)-COLUMN(A3)+1`

## Setting up the Data

We will determine the relative column number for range A3:E3 based on the content of figure 2

Figure 2: Setting up the Data

## Get Relative Column Numbers in a Range

• We will highlight the range from Cell A3 to E3
• We will input the formula below inside the range

`{=COLUMN(A3:E3)-COLUMN(A3)+1}`

Figure 3: How to Get Relative Column Numbers in a Range

• Because this is an array formula, we will press CTRL+SHIFT+ENTER to get the result

Figure 4: Result of Relative Column Numbers in a Range

## Explanation

In this formula, the first Column function creates an array of 5 numbers like this: {2,3,4,5,6}. The second Column function creates an array that has only one item: {2}. This is subtracted from the first array and results in {0,1,2,3,4}. 1 is added to the result to produce: {1,2,3,4,5}.

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