Excel Row and Column Headings – Guide

This is an overview:

excel row and column headings

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Introduction to Excel Row and Column Headings

Row and column headings are like labels.

Row headings are the numbers on the left side of the worksheet. Each row has its own number: 1, 2, 3, and so on. These numbers help identify and locate specific rows.

Column headings are the letters at the top of the worksheet. They start with “A” and go in alphabetical order as you move to the right.

row and column headings in Excel


Cell Reference Styles with Row and Column Headings in Excel

To create a cell reference, combine the column letter and the row number of a cell.

  • 25 was selected and highlighted in the following image. This cell refers to Column D and Row 10. The cell reference is D10. You can see the cell reference in the Name Box at the left top corner.

determining cell reference in A1 style from excel row and column headings

In the R1C1 reference style, the row number is followed by the column number.

  • Select the same cell. It is positioned in Row 10 and Column 4. The cell reference becomes R10C4.

determining cell reference in R1C1 style from excel row and column headings

Toggling Row and Column Headings On or Off in Excel

You can easily hide and unhide the headings.

  • Go to the View tab and uncheck Headings.

headings option is checked

  • The headings are not shown.

excel row and column headings aren't visible now

Check the Headings to display them.

Read More: How to Rename Column in Excel

Convert Column Headers from Letters to Numbers and Vice Versa

  • Go to the File tab.

going to the File tab

  • Click Options.

clicking on options

  • In the Excel Options dialog box, go to Formulas.
  • Check R1C1 reference style in Working with formulas and click OK.

working on Excel Options dialog box

The letters are converted to numbers.

column headings are converted to numbers from letters

Uncheck R1C1 reference style to undo.

Modify the Default Font Style in Row and Column Headings in Excel

  • Go to the Home tab.
  • Right-click Normal in Style.
  • Click Modify….

modifying the default font style

  • Click Format in the Style dialog box.

Format button in style dialog box

  • In the Format Cells dialog box, go to the Font tab.
  • Select Font and choose a Font style.
  • Click OK.

changing font, font style and size in format cells dialog box

  • Click OK in the Style dialog box.

clicking OK button

The default font changes.

excel row and column headings get changed

Read More: How to Title a Column in Excel

Print Row and Column Headings in Excel

  • Go to the Page Layout tab.
  • In Sheet Options, you can see two options: View and Print. The first one is checked and the second one is unchecked by default.

Print option is unchecked in sheet options

  • Press CTRL + P to open the Print options. You can see the Print Preview.

The headings are not visible in the Print Preview:

row and column headings are unavailable in print

  • In Page Layout, check Print.

Print option is checked in sheet options

  • Press CTRL + P. Row and column headings will be printed.

Excel row and column headings are available in print

Read More: Keep Row Headings When Scrolling Without Freeze

How to Establish Top Row as Header Row in Excel

1. Use the Print Title Option

  • Click Page Layout >> Print Titles.

Clicking on Print Titles in Page layout tab

  • In the Page Setup dialog box, the Sheet tab is opened by default.
  • Enter the cell reference A1:G55 in the Print area and Row 4 in Rows to repeat at top.
  • Click Print Preview.

working on page setup dialog box in excel

This is the first page.

1st page of print

Row 4: the header on the 2nd page is visible.

header row is printed in the second page also

2. Utilize the Freeze Panes

  • Click the heading number of Row 5.
  • Go to View >> Freeze Panes>> Freeze Panes.

using freeze panes option to make header row

After scrolling down, the header row is displayed.

header row is motionless while scrolling

3. Format the Dataset as a Table

  • Select B5.
  • Go to the Home tab.
  • Click Format as Table and choose Light Blue, Table Style Light 2 in Light.

formatting dataset as table

  • In the Create Table dialog box, the range is selected automatically.
  • Click OK.

creating table in excel

The data range is converted to a table.

data range converted to table in excel

  • Click any cell inside the table and go through the worksheet by scrolling down. You can see the headers.

column headers are visible in place of column headings in excel

Read More: Create Table with Row and Column Headers

Things to Remember

  • The R1C1 reference style in Excel offers several advantages, particularly when working with formulas and writing VBA codes for macros.
  • In Excel, the default Font is Calibri 11 pt.


Excel Row and Column Headings: Knowledge Hub


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Shahriar Abrar Rafid
Shahriar Abrar Rafid

Shahriar Abrar Rafid, BSc, Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering, Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology, Bangladesh, has worked with the ExcelDemy project for more than 1 year. He has written over 100+ articles for ExcelDemy. He is a professional visual content developer adept at crafting scripts, meticulously editing Excel files, and delivering insightful video tutorials for YouTube channels. His work and learning interests vary from Microsoft Office Suites and Excel to Data Analysis, VBA, and Video recording and... Read Full Bio

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