Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Excel in Microsoft 365. If you are using an earlier version (Excel 2003 or earlier), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for earlier versions of Excel, click here: Determining Columns in a Range.

Determining Columns in a Range

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated June 27, 2020)
This tip applies to Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Excel in Microsoft 365


1

One of the handy worksheet functions provided by Excel allows you to determine the number of columns in a range. This is accomplished through the use of the COLUMNS function. For instance, consider the following formula:

=COLUMNS(B2:D15)

The value returned is 3, since the range includes columns B, C, and D. You are not limited to address ranges (such as B2:D15); you can also use named ranges with the COLUMNS function.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (10206) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Excel in Microsoft 365. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Excel here: Determining Columns in a Range.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

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What is five more than 4?

2020-06-29 10:43:52

Ken C

Wow! I just realized that the COLUMNS function can be used in a VLOOKUP so that you don't have to count columns. For example:

=VLOOKUP($A2,Sheet2!$A$2:$E$9999,(COLUMNS(A:E)),FALSE)

Could be handy when you have a lot of columns.


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