The Excel COLUMNS Function

Related Function:
ROWS function

Basic Description

The Excel Columns function receives an Excel range and returns the number of columns that are contained within the range.

The syntax of the function is:

COLUMNS( array )

Where the array argument is the Excel range for which you want to return the number of columns.

Columns Function Examples

The following spreadsheet shows three simple examples of the Excel Columns function.

2=COLUMNS( B1:E5 )
3=COLUMNS( 1:1 )

Note that the above functions were calculated in Excel 2010. Therefore, the formula in cell A3 (which returns the number of columns in the whole of row 1 of the spreadsheet) returns the value 16,384, as this is the number of columns in Excel 2010. If this example were run in Excel 2003, it would return the number 256.

Further information on the Excel Columns function is provided on the Microsoft Office website.