[Fixed!] Excel Columns Are Labeled with Numbers Not Letters

We know the column labels in Excel remain letters and rows are in numbers by default and that is called the A1 reference style. But somehow you may get that the column’s label is in number which is called the R1C1 reference style. No worries, if you face this situation. If you don’t know how to fix it then you have come to the right place. In this tutorial, I’ll show 2 quick and effective solutions to fix the problem when Excel is showing the columns labeled in numbers, not letters with simple and clear steps and images.


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2 Solutions to the Issue If Excel Columns Are Labeled with Numbers Not Letters

Firstly, get introduced to our sample dataset which represents 5 best seller books’ prices from an online bookshop. You can see the columns are labeled in numbers, not in letters. Though it is not a problem if you are accustomed to it, if not then you may encounter a few difficulties like formulas written in typical form may not perform correctly.


1. Using Excel Options to Show Letters in Column Label Instead of Numbers

We can set the default reference style in Excel. According to our setup, Excel will show the row and column labels. Excel has two reference styles, one is- row labels are in numbers and column labels are in letters, and the other is- both are in numbers means the R1C1 reference style. Maybe you mistakenly marked the R1C1 reference style or someone did it while working on your computer. Now let’s see how we can unmark this feature using the Excel Options.

Steps:

  • First, click on the File tab beside the Home ribbon.

Using Excel Options to Show Letters in Column Label

  • After that, click on Options from the appeared menu on the left side of your Excel window.

Soon after you will get the Excel Options dialog box.

Using Excel Options to Show Letters in Column Label

  • Next, click the Formulas option from the dialog box.
  • Then scroll down and unmark the R1C1 reference style option from the Working with formulas section.

Using Excel Options to Show Letters in Column Label

Now have a look, we activated the A1 reference style and so got back our column labels in letters.

Read More: [Fixed] Excel Column Numbers Instead of Letters (2 Solutions)


2. Embed Excel VBA to Display Letters in Column Headings

We can change the column labels from numbers to letters by taking the help of Microsoft Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) if you like to work with VBA. A simple code is enough to show the column labels in letters instead of numbers. If you are familiar with VBA then this method may take less time than the previous method. Actually, VBA will do the same operation as we did in the previous method manually.

Steps:

  • In the beginning, click as follows to open the Excel VBA window: Developer > Visual Basic. Or, you can press the shortcut key ALT + F11 to open the VBA window directly.

Embed Excel VBA to Display Letters in Column Headings

  • After appearing in the VBA window, click as follows to insert a new module: Insert > Module.

Embed Excel VBA to Display Letters in Column Headings

  • We have inserted the module successfully, now just type the following codes in it-
Sub Columns_Label_from_NumbersToLetters()
Application.ReferenceStyle = xlA1
End Sub
  • Next, you can click the Run icon from here to run the codes or can go back to your sheet to run the codes from Macros.

Embed Excel VBA to Display Letters in Column Headings

  • From the Developer ribbon, click on Macros from the Code section to open the Macros dialog box.

Embed Excel VBA to Display Letters in Column Headings

  • Finally, just select the macro name from the Macros dialog box and press Run.

Then soon you will see that the codes have deactivated the R1C1 reference style and activated the A1 reference style, consequently, the column headings have converted from numbers to letters.

Read More: Column Letter to Number Converter in Excel (5 Easy Examples)


Conclusion

That’s all for the article. I hope the above procedures will be good enough to fix the issue when Excel is showing the columns labeled in numbers, not letters. Feel free to ask any question in the comment section and please give me feedback. Visit ExcelDemy to explore more.


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Mithun

Mithun

Hello! I am Md. Sourov Hossain Mithun. Welcome to my profile. Currently, I am working at Exceldemy as an Excel and VBA Content Developer. Excel is amazing software. Here I will post excel related useful articles. I am a graduate of Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology. I love to learn new things and work with them. Thank you.

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