The Excel COLUMN Function

Related Function:
ROW Function

Basic Description

The Excel Column function returns the first column number within a supplied reference. If no reference is supplied, the function returns the number of the current column in the currently active Excel spreadsheet.

The syntax of the Column function is:

COLUMN( [reference] )

Where [reference] is an optional argument that specifies the Excel reference that you want to return the column number of. If the [reference] argument is omitted, the function returns the column number for the cell that the function is entered into.


Column Function Examples

The spreadsheets below show six examples of the Excel Column function.

 Formulas:
 ABC
1=COLUMN( )=COLUMN( )=COLUMN( E6 )
2=COLUMN( )=COLUMN( )=COLUMN( G2 )
 Results:
 ABC
1125
2127

Note that the [reference] argument is omitted from the functions in cells A1-B2 of the above spreadsheet. Therefore, in these cases, the Excel Column function returns the column number of the cell that the function is entered into.


Further examples of the Excel Column Function are provided on the Microsoft Office website.