The Excel COLUMN Function

Related Function:
ROW Function

Basic Description

The Excel Column function returns the first column number within a supplied reference, or 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 [reference] is omitted, the function returns the column number for the current cell (i.e. the cell that the function is entered into).


Column Function Examples

The spreadsheets below show six examples of the Excel Column function. The spreadsheet on the left shows the formulas and the spreadsheet on the right shows the results:

 Formulas:
  A B C
1 =COLUMN( ) =COLUMN( ) =COLUMN( E6 )
2 =COLUMN( ) =COLUMN( ) =COLUMN( G2 )
 Results:
  A B C
1 1 2 5
2 1 2 7

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


Example 2

For a practical example of the Excel Column function, see the Excel Variable Chart page of this website.

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