Excel column limit
Just like the row limit, Excel’s column limit will also amaze you. So how many columns does Excel has?
Excel columns extend up to Column XFD – that makes 16,384 columns. A big number 😲
Columns in Excel are labeled with alphabets. After the normal alphabetic series A-Z ends, letters are paired alphabetically. Like after Z, the next column header is AA, AB up to AZ. Then starts BA, BB up to BZ, and so on 🔠
To check the last column header:
- Launch a new Excel workbook.
- Press down the Control key together with the right arrow (or the End button).
Excel will navigate you to the last column.
The last column of an Excel sheet is titled XFD. That’s alright, but how do I know these make 16,384 columns?
Here are two ways how you can check that:
- Navigate to the last column using the Control key + the right arrow key 🏹
- In the last column of Excel, type the following formula:
= COLUMN ()
The COLUMN function returns the column number of the column where it is written. This tells that Column XFD is the 16,384th column of Excel.
Another way to check that is to change the reference style of columns from alphabets to numbers. To do that:
- Go to the File tab > Excel options.
- Select Formulas from the pane on the left.
- Under the Heading Working with Formulas, check the R1C1 reference style.
The alphabetic column headers will now be replaced with numeric headers. Both the column and row headers now show numbers.
So you see the number on the last column header.
Excel offers a fine number of rows and columns in an Excel sheet so you can go spreadsheeting endlessly 🪁
Great, isn’t it?
In the older versions of Excel (2003 and older), the row and column limits were set to 65,356 and 256, respectively.