Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. If you are using a later version (Excel 2007 or later), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for later versions of Excel, click here: Determining Columns in a Range.

Determining Columns in a Range

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated March 9, 2020)

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), but can also used named ranges with the COLUMNS function.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (2432) applies to Microsoft Excel 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. You can find a version of this tip for the ribbon interface of Excel (Excel 2007 and later) 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. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Using Message Boxes

When creating a macro, one of the ways you can communicate with users is through the use of a message box. This tip ...

Discover More

Clearing the Undo Stack in a Macro

Excel keeps track of the actions you take so that you can undo those actions if any are taken in error. You may want to ...

Discover More

Mouse Scroll Wheel Doesn't Work when Editing Formulas

Using your mouse to select cells for inclusion in a formula can be an exercise in futility on some systems. Here's why ...

Discover More

Save Time and Supercharge Excel! Automate virtually any routine task and save yourself hours, days, maybe even weeks. Then, learn how to make Excel do things you thought were simply impossible! Mastering advanced Excel macros has never been easier. Check out Excel 2010 VBA and Macros today!

Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is nine more than 5?

2015-08-01 10:29:47

Dave Onorato

The function also works without a row reference. In the example above, the formula could be =COLUMNS(B:D) and would produce the same result, 3.

Also, this function works in many versions of Excel (of course).


This Site

Got a version of Excel that uses the menu interface (Excel 97, Excel 2000, Excel 2002, or Excel 2003)? This site is for you! If you use a later version of Excel, visit our ExcelTips site focusing on the ribbon interface.

Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.