How to use COLUMN function in Microsoft Excel

Let’s learn how to get column number of a cell or range.
So, to get the column number of a cell we use Excel COLUMN function. Its easy to use. Just pass the reference as argument and COLUMN function will return the COLUMN NUMBER of that cell. The argument is optional. If you don’t pass any argument the COLUMN function will return the column in which formula is written.


[reference]: the cell or range reference. This is optional.

COLUMN Function Example

If you just write the below COLUMN formula without any argument in Cell B2 then it will return 2.


If you write the below COLUMN formula without any argument in Cell B3 then it will return 5.


The COLUMN function can be used effectively with VLOOKUP at place of col_index_number
If your table array starts from A2 then you can write this formula to lookup automatically from respective column.

=VLOOKUP(lookup value,$A$2:$C$100, COLUMN(A1),0)

Using this you can retrieve the entire row of a matched value.

So yeah guys, you can use this formula to get the column number. This can help you with many other formulas where you need to calculate cell addresses.

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