How to use Excel COLUMN function


COLUMN function in excel is a reference function. It returns the COLUMN number of a cell to which reference is made. If we provide no reference than function returns the reference value of the cell in which the function is written. For example =COLUMN(C9)returns 3 as C9 is the 3RD   Column in Excel.




  • Reference– It is the reference made to a cell or a range of cells whose Column number has to be found. It is optional, and since function will use default reference of the cell in which it is used.


  • It returns a number for the column in Excel based on reference, if a column number is to be found using lookup, use the MATCH function.
  • Reference here is not compulsory since function will use default reference of the cell in which it is used.
  • In this function, only single reference can be used and multiples are not allowed.
  • If reference to more than one cell is made, it will return the cell number of uppermost left reference.
  • It can also be used to create a list of Column numbers.(See in Examples)


  1. In this example COLUMN function gives us value ‘2’ since we have used the formula =COLUMN(B4)
  • In this example a serial wise list of COLUMN numbers is created using COLUMN function simultaneously.  
  • In this example a dynamical increment of a calculation is done using the COLUMN function. It means value of the calculation will automatically increase when function is pasted to a new cell. Here the formula  =A12*(COLUMN(E11)-4) is used in column E11 , this multiplies value in column A12 by 1 and increment by one as we move to the next column.

1 thought on “How to use Excel COLUMN function”

  1. Pingback: Accounts receivable ageing report in excel - Excelhub

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *