# Convert Column Letter to Number – Excel & Google Sheets

In this Article

*This tutorial demonstrates how to convert a column letter to a number using the COLUMN and INDIRECT function in Excel.*

**COLUMN Function**

The COLUMN function returns the **column number **of a cell reference. Its syntax is:

=COLUMN(Cell Reference)

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.

**INDIRECT Function**

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.

=INDIRECT("A1")

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.

=COLUMN(INDIRECT(B3&"1"))

## 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: