To convert a column letter to an regular number (e.g. 1, 10, 26, etc.) you can use a formula based on the INDIRECT and COLUMN functions.

In the example shown, the formula in C5 is:


Generic formula



The first step is to construct a standard "A1" style reference using the column letter, by adding a "1" with concatenation:


This results in a text string like "A1" which is passed into the INDIRECT function.

Next, the INDIRECT function transforms the text into a proper Excel reference and hands the result off to the COLUMN function.

Finally, the COLUMN function evaluates the reference and returns the column number for the reference.

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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.