# Excel COLUMNS Function

Summary

The Excel COLUMNS function returns the count of columns in a given reference. For example, COLUMNS(A1:C3) returns 3, since the range A1:C3 contains 3 columns.

Purpose

Get the number of columns in an array or reference.

Return value

Number of columns

Syntax

=COLUMNS (array)

Arguments

**array**- A reference to a range of cells.

Usage notes

Use the COLUMNS function to get the column count for a given reference or range. For example, there are 6 columns in the range A1:A10, so:

=COLUMNS(A1:F1) // returns 6

The range B1:D5 contains 3 columns:

=COLUMNS(B1:D5) // returns 3

You can also use the COLUMNS function to get a column count for an array constant:

=COLUMNS({1,2,3,4,5}) // returns 5

### Notes

- Array can be a range or a reference to a single contiguous group of cells.
- Array can be an array constant or an array created by another formula.