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.
Download Practice Workbook
You can download the free Excel workbook from here and practice on your own.
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.
- First, click on the File tab beside the Home ribbon.
- 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.
- 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.
Now have a look, we activated the A1 reference style and so got back our column labels in letters.
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.
- 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.
- After appearing in the VBA window, click as follows to insert a new module: Insert > Module.
- 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.
- From the Developer ribbon, click on Macros from the Code section to open the Macros dialog box.
- 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.
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.
- How to Change Column Name from ABC to 1 2 3 in Excel
- Excel VBA: Get Row and Column Number from Cell Address (4 Methods)
- How to Return Column Number of Match in Excel (5 Useful Ways)
- Excel VBA: Set Range by Row and Column Number (3 Examples)
- How to Reference Cell by Row and Column Number in Excel (4 Methods)
- VBA to Use Range Based on Column Number in Excel (4 Methods)
- How to Convert Column Number to Letter in Excel (3 Ways)