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# 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 (i.e. the column for the cell that the function is entered into).

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 spreadsheet below shows six examples of the Excel Column function.

Formulas: | A | B | C |
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1 | =COLUMN( ) | =COLUMN( ) | =COLUMN( E6 ) |
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2 | =COLUMN( ) | =COLUMN( ) | =COLUMN( G2:H3 ) |
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| Results: |

Note that in the above example spreadsheet:

- The examples in cells A1-B2 omit the [reference] argument. Therefore, in these cases, the Excel Column function returns the column number of the cell that the function is entered into.
- The example in cell C2 provides the range G2:H3 to the Column function. Therefore, in this case, the function returns the column number of the first cell in the supplied range (i.e. cell G2).

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