The COLUMNS function in Excel is used to count the number of columns in a range or an array. It’s a simple but powerful tool that helps you understand the structure of your data.

## Syntax

**COLUMNS(range)**

## Arguments

range | A range of cells or an array for which you want to count the number of columns. |

## How to Use

The COLUMNS function is straightforward. You provide a range or array as an argument, and it returns the count of columns in that range or array. Here’s how you can use it:

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=COLUMNS(A1:C3) |

This formula counts the number of columns in the range from cell A1 to C3. If the range includes three columns, it will return the value 3.

Let’s see more examples:

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=COLUMNS(A1:E1) |

In this case, the range covers cells from A1 to E1, which includes five columns. So, the formula will return 5.

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=COLUMNS(B2:G4) |

If your range is B2:G4, which spans six columns, the COLUMNS function will return 6.

(Optional) If you’re working with arrays, you can use the COLUMNS function to count the columns in an array:

1 |
=COLUMNS({1, 2, 3; 4, 5, 6}) |

This formula counts the number of columns in a 2×3 array and returns 3.

## Additional Information

The COLUMNS function is a handy tool when you want to perform operations based on the number of columns in a dataset. It can be used in various Excel functions and formulas to make your spreadsheet tasks more efficient.