How to use COLUMN Function in Excel

Column function in excel is used to find out the column numbers of the target cells in excel, it is also a built in worksheet function and takes only one argument which is the target cell as reference, note that this function does not give the value of the cell as it returns only the column number of the cell. In simple words, this excel column formula will provide a numeric value as output which signifies the column number of the supplied reference.

Syntax:=COLUMN ([reference])

The COLUMN function syntax has the following arguments:

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.

  • 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: Let’s look at some Excel COLUMN function examples and explore how to use the COLUMN function as a worksheet function in Microsoft Excel:

Syntax:  =COLUMN()

Result:

COLUMN Function in Excel - How to use COLUMN Function in Excel

Based on the Excel spreadsheet above, the following COLUMN examples would return:

Syntax: =COLUMN(B4)
Result: 2

Syntax: =COLUMN(B5:B7)
Result: 2

Syntax: =COLUMN(C6:D8)
Result: 3

Syntax: =COLUMN(A8:F8)
Result: 1

Syntax: =COLUMN(G6:J6)
Result: 7

Syntax: =COLUMN(D8:F8)
Result: 4

Syntax: =COLUMN(E9)
Result: 5

Note:

READ:  How to use XLOOKUP Function in Excel

Use reference to get column number of a reference.

  • Reference can be a single cell address or a range of cells.
  • Reference is optional and will default to the cell in which the COLUMN function exists.
  • Reference cannot include multiple references or addresses.

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