You can use the MATCH function to get the column number and the INDEX function to get the column name.

## Get column index using the MATCH function

In the following example, we have two tables **Users** and **Results**.

What we want to do here, is to retrieve the column index from the **Users** table and insert it into the **Results** table, based on the **Column name**.

There are two ways you can do it.

In the first method, you make a standard reference. The function will look for value **E2** inside **$A$1:$C$1**. 0 as the third parameter means that it has to be an exact match.

1 |
=MATCH(E2,$A$1:$C$1,0) |

The second method is better. If you have your table on another sheet, you can refer to it by using the table name and reference to headers.

1 |
=MATCH(E2,Users[#Headers],0) |

If you convert the table **Users** into range, **Example 2** will change from these formulas (**Ctrl + ~**).

Into this.

Now, **Example 2** is
the same as **Example 1**. The only difference
is that in Example 2 there is also a reference to the current sheet.

## Get column index using the INDEX function

The **INDEX**
function is similar to the **MATCH**
function.

The difference is that in the **MATCH** function, you give a name and the function returns an index.

In the **INDEX** function, you give an index and Excel returns a name.

Let’s modify our example by replacing the functions.

Press **Ctrl + ~** to display formulas instead of values.

The INDEX function takes a range of cells (**A1:C1** in our example) and returns the
value of the specified index:

1: First Name

2: Last Name

3: Age

The last example returns the reference error (**#REF!**) because there is no fourth
column in our example.