Article updated on January 22, 2018

The COLUMN function returns the column number of a specific cell reference. If the argument is not entered the column number of the cell the formula is entered in is returned, see cell B6 in picture above.

Excel Function Syntax



reference Optional. The cell reference for which you want to extract the column number from.


The COLUMN function allows you to also return an array of column numbers if you enter the formula as an array formula and use a cell range containing multiple columns.

You can not use multiple cell references in the COLUMN function.