COLUMN formula returns the column number of a given cell reference. It is most commonly used as a helper function for other formulas that require the column number as an argument.
- How to use
- Examples of using
COLUMNformula not working?
- Similar formulas to
COLUMN formula with the syntax shown below, it has 1 required parameter:
- cell_reference (required):
The cell reference for which to return the column number.
ExamplesHere are a few example use cases that explain how to use the
COLUMN formula in Google Sheets.
Finding the column number of a cell
By using the
COLUMN formula in combination with other formulas, you can perform operations that require the column number of a cell as an argument, such as
Conditional formatting based on column number
You can use the
COLUMN formula to set up conditional formatting rules that apply to specific columns in a range of cells.
Converting column letters to column numbers
If you have a column letter and need to convert it to a column number, you can use the
COLUMN formula in combination with the
COLUMN not working? Here are some common mistakes people make when using the
COLUMN Google Sheets Formula:
The COLUMN formula requires an argument to be passed in the function. Make sure to include the cell reference within the parentheses.
Incorrect cell reference
Make sure that the cell reference being used in the COLUMN formula is valid and exists within the sheet.
Using a range instead of a single cell
The COLUMN formula only accepts a single cell reference as an argument. If you want to reference a range of cells, use a different formula such as SUM or AVERAGE.
Using absolute cell reference
If you use an absolute cell reference in the COLUMN formula, the formula will always return the same column number regardless of which cell it is copied to. Use a relative cell reference instead.
Not using the COLUMN formula
If you are trying to return the column number of a cell, make sure to use the COLUMN formula and not a different formula such as ROW or INDEX.
The following functions are similar to
COLUMN or are often used with it in a formula:
ROWformula returns the row number of a specified cell reference. If no cell reference is provided, it returns the row number of the cell in which the formula is entered. This formula is most commonly used for data analysis and manipulation.
INDEXformula in Google Sheets is used to return a value or reference of a cell at the intersection of a specified row and column in a given range. The formula is commonly used to lookup and retrieve values from a table or range of cells.
MATCHformula is used to search for a specified value within a range and returns the relative position of the value within the range. This formula is commonly used in conjunction with the
INDEXformula to retrieve a value from a specific cell in a range. The
search_typeparameter is optional and determines the type of match to be performed, such as exact match, less than, or greater than.
VLOOKUPfunction is a lookup formula used to search for a value in the first column of a range of cells (the search key) and return a value in the same row from a specified column in that range. This function is most commonly used to look up and retrieve data from a table.
You can learn more about the
COLUMN Google Sheets function on Google Support.