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How do get the index of a table's column by using a structured reference in excel?

Posted by: admin March 9, 2020 Leave a comment


I have a table with 3 columns. I want to write a formula that, given a structured reference, returns the index of the column. This will help me write VLookup formulas using the structured reference.

So, for example, for the table MyTable with columns A, B, C I’d like to be able to write:


and have it return 3.

Right now I just make sure the table range starts on the sheet’s first column and I write


but I want something a more robust.

How to&Answers:

A suitable formula based on your example would be


The first part of the forumla COLUMN(MyTable[C]) will return the column number of the referenced column.

The second part of the formula COLUMN(MyTable) will always return the column number of the first column of the table.


Another solution to the question you asked (or something close to it) is to use something like =MATCH("C",MyTable[#Headers],0), which will return 3 in the example you posted.

However, if you used INDEX instead of VLOOKUP, you wouldn’t need to do this. For example, if you wanted to find the value of C in the row (assumingly there is no more than one) where A is equal to 2, you could use a formula like =INDEX(MyTable[C],MATCH(2,MyTable[A],0)), which is nicely self-documenting.


Do you mean:

Dim r As Range
MyLetter ="AA"
Set r = Range(MyLetter & "1")
MyIndex= r.Column

Edit re comment

Function GetRelativeColumn(Letter, RangeName)
Dim r As Range
Dim ColStart, ColRequired, ColTemp
Set r = Range(RangeName)

ColStart = r.Column
ColRequired = Range(Letter & "1").Column
ColTemp = ColRequired - ColStart + 1
If ColTemp < 1 Or ColTemp > r.Columns.Count Then
    MsgBox "Ooutside range"
    GetRelativeColumn = ColTemp
End If
End Function


You could use: =COLUMN(MyTable[*]) - COLUMN(MyTable[A]) + 1, where * is the column whose index you want.


=slight modification to eJames’ respones:
=COLUMN(MyTable[ * ]) – MIN(COLUMN(MyTable)) + 1, where * is the column you want the index of.


What is your end goal? You may be better off using SUMIF (as I describe here) or INDEX (as I describe here) to access your values rather than jumping back to row/column…