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This tutorial demonstrates how to convert a column letter to a number using the COLUMN and INDIRECT function in Excel.
The COLUMN function returns the column number of a cell reference. Its syntax is:
To illustrate, let’s see some examples below.
=COLUMN(A1) has a result of 1. This is because the cell reference “A1” is in column number 1.
=COLUMN(B1) has a result of 2. This is because the cell reference “B1” is in column number 2.
=COLUMN(H1) has a result of 8. This is because the cell reference “H1” is in column number 8.
The INDIRECT function converts a text string into a cell reference. It’s syntax is:
=INDIRECT(Text String of Cell Reference)
To illustrate, let’s see an example below.
In the above example, cell A1 has the value 500. By inputting INDIRECT(“A1”), you are indirectly referencing cell A1 (hence the name).
Converting Column Letter to Number
Using a combination of the above two functions, we can find the column number of a valid column letter. By concatenating a column letter and 1, it gives us a cell reference. Since INDIRECT converts a text string into a cell reference, we can use it with COLUMN to get the column letter.
Convert Column Letter to Number in Google Sheets
The combination of COLUMN and INDIRECT Functions works exactly the same in Google Sheets as in Excel: