In Google Sheets I have a number of columns that I have given titles to in Row 1. Using a formula, I want to return the column number (i.e. 5, 6, 7, ...) for the column that has a specific title. For example: =GetColumnNumber("Account Balance").

This GetColumnNumber() function above doesn't actually exist, but it demonstrates what I'm trying to do.

Is there a way to achieve the same result?

I've found this function reference which I've been trying to sift through.

3 Answers 3


I think this will do what you want. For example if your columns are A to D,

=iferror(match("Account Balance",A1:D1,0),"No match")

returns the column number or an error message.

Thanks for pointing out that function list. It will come in handy.


You were right on the money:


Returns the column number for the named range.

You must create a named range using the Data>Named Ranges menu item and the Add a Range option in the resulting sidebar. The name can't contain spaces or other invalid characters and, when used in a function such as the one above, must be unquoted.

  • I just checked that and it doesn't work !! Perhaps you can explain how this solution works?
    – Jacob Jan
    Commented Jun 29, 2014 at 12:38
  • @JacobJanTuinstra: They've changed the way it functions in recent versions. I've updated my answer to reflect that. Commented Jun 29, 2014 at 14:30
  • You're alive !! Wow, thanks Dennis, I've learned something today.
    – Jacob Jan
    Commented Jun 29, 2014 at 15:40

I did it by adding a row that contains the formula =column()
Then find the column number with the vlookupfunction.

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