Google Sheets: How to Return Column Number of Match


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

Method 1: Return Column Number of Match within Table

=MATCH(G2, C1:E1, 0)

This particular formula will look up the value in cell G2 in the range C1:E1 and then return the column number that matches the value in cell G2.

Method 2: Return Column Number of Match within Entire Spreadsheet

=MATCH(G2, $1:$1, 0)

This particular formula will look up the value in cell G2 in the entire first row of the spreadsheet and then return the column number that matches the value in cell G2.

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

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

Example 1: Return Column Number of Match within Table

We can type the following formula into cell H2 to find the column number in the range C1:E1 that matches the value in cell G2:

=MATCH(G2, C1:E1, 0)

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

Google Sheets return column number of match

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 H2 to find the column number in the entire spreadsheet that matches the value in cell G2:

=MATCH(G2, $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.

Note: You can find the complete documentation for the MATCH function in Google Sheets here.

Additional Resources

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

Google Sheets: How to Use IF Statement with MATCH Function
Google Sheets Formula: If Match then Return Yes or No
Google Sheets: How to Sort Two Columns to Match

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