You can use the following methods to return the column number of a match in Excel:

**Method 1: Return Column Number of Match within Table**

=MATCH(H2, C1:F1, 0)

This particular formula will look up the value in cell **H2 **in the range **C1:F1 **and then return the column number that matches the value in cell **H2**.

**Method 2: Return Column Number of Match within Entire Spreadsheet**

=MATCH(H2, $1:$1, 0)

This particular formula will look up the value in cell **H2 **in the entire first row of the spreadsheet** **and then return the column number that matches the value in cell **H2**.

The following examples show how to use each method in practice with the following dataset in Excel:

**Note**: The value of **0** in the last argument of the **MATCH** function tells Excel to look for an exact match.

**Example 1: Return Column Number of Match within Table**

We can type the following formula into cell **I2** to find the column number in the range **C1:F1** that matches the value in cell **H2**:

=MATCH(H2, C1:F1, 0)

The following screenshot shows how to use this formula in practice:

The formula returns a value of **3** since the name “Assists” is located in column 3 of the range that we specified.

**Example 2: Return Column Number of Match within Entire Spreadsheet**

We can type the following formula into cell **I2** to find the column number in the entire spreadsheet that matches the value in cell **H2**:

=MATCH(H2, $1:$1, 0)

The following screenshot shows how to use this formula in practice:

The formula returns a value of **5** since the name “Assists” is located in column 5 of the entire spreadsheet.

Note that the range **$1:$1** in the formula indicates that we should look for the value “Assists” in row 1 of the entire spreadsheet.

We could also drag this formula down to more cells in column I to find the column number of other names:

We can see that “Rebounds” is located in column **6** of the entire spreadsheet.

**Additional Resources**

The following tutorials explain how to perform other common tasks in Excel:

Excel: Count Number of Matches Between Two Columns

Excel: How to Find All Values that Match Criteria

Excel: How to Find Matching Values in Two Worksheets