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Chapter 7. Working with Text Functions > Determining the Column Letter

Determining the Column Letter

Excel's COLUMN() function returns the column number of a specified cell. For example, for a cell in column A, COLUMN() returns 1. This is handy, as you saw earlier in this chapter (“Generating a Series of Letters”), but in some cases you might prefer to know the actual column letter.

This is a tricky proposition because the letters run from A to Z, then AA to AZ, and so on. However, Excel's CELL() function can return (among other things) the address of a specified cell in absolute format—for example, $A$2 or $AB$10. To get the column letter, you need to extract the substring between the two dollar signs. It's clear to begin with that the substring will always start at the second character position, so we can begin with the following formula:


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