To get the address of the first cell in a range, you can use the ADDRESS function together with the ROW, COLUMN, and MIN functions. In the example shown, the formula in F5 is:


where data is the named range B5:D14.

Generic formula



The ADDRESS function creates a reference based on a given row and column number. In this case, we want to get the first row and the first column used by the named range data (B5:D14). To get the first row used, we use the ROW function together with the MIN function like this:


Because data contains more than one row, ROW returns an array of row numbers:


This array goes directly to the MIN function, which returns the smallest number:

MIN({5;6;7;8;9;10;11;12;13;14}) // returns 5

To get the first column, we use the COLUMN function in the same way:


Since data contains three rows, COLUMN returns an array with three column numbers:


and the MIN function again returns the largest number:

MIN({2,3,4}) // returns 2

Both results are returned directly to the ADDRESS function, which constructs a reference to the cell at row 5, column 2:

=ADDRESS(5,2) // returns $B$5

If you want a relative address instead of an absolute reference, you can supply 4 for the third argument like this:

=ADDRESS(MIN(ROW(data)),MIN(COLUMN(data)),4) // returns B5

CELL function alternative

Although it's not obvious, the INDEX function returns a reference, so we can use the CELL function with INDEX to get the address of the first cell in a range like this:


In this case, we use the INDEX function to get a reference to the first cell in the range by giving INDEX 1 for row number and 1 for column number, with data for array:

INDEX(data,1,1) // returns reference to B5

INDEX then returns a reference to cell B5, and we use the CELL function with "address", to display the address.

Note: The CELL function is a volatile function that can cause performance problems in large or complex workbooks.
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Dave Bruns

Hi - I'm Dave Bruns, and I run Exceljet with my wife, Lisa. Our goal is to help you work faster in Excel. We create short videos, and clear examples of formulas, functions, pivot tables, conditional formatting, and charts.