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Convert an A1-style spreadsheet column label to a number.

version 1.12 (2.35 KB) by

ABC2NUM translates an A1-style (absolute) column label reference to a number; NUM2ABC does inverse.

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ABC2NUM(S) returns the number corresponding to the spreadsheet column represented by the reference string, S. The input string, S, may contain the ascii letters A-Z, in the format commonly employed by spreadsheet programs such as Calc and Microsoft Excel[1]. Other characters, including lower case letters, a-z, are ignored.

NUM2ABC(D) returns the A1-style string label corresponding to the appropriate spreadsheet column represented by the specified integer, D. The specified integer must be greater than or equal to one.

[1] Abraham, R., Burnett, M. and Erwig, M., "Spreadsheet Programming" Encyclopedia of Computer Science and Engineering, (ed. B.J. Wah), 2804-2810, 2009
DOI: 10.1002/9780470050118.ecse415

Please note: There are many interesting submissions on FEX which provide similar results (see below).

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#15748 - Excel Column Number To Column Name
#12796 - excelcolumn
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Comments and Ratings (1)


yksiii (view profile)



Edited info text; no code changes.


Edited info text; no code changes.


Edited info text; no code changes.


Added ref info.




Extended translation to cover arbitrary number of digits; included complementary function num2abc.


fixed string output

Included acknowledgment of the complementary function NUM2ABC.

MATLAB Release
MATLAB 7.5 (R2007b)

Inspired by: Convert decimal integer to arbitrary base.

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