Returning Reference to Column with Match

The MATCH formula in Excel can be used to find the number of a column in which a string appears in an array. In this example we're searching for the column heading 'PO' in the array A1:K1 As you can see in cell L1 it indicates that this value appears in the 8th column of the array.

We can convert the value in LI to the column letter, with the ADDRESS formula. You specify a row with the first value in this formula, and a column with the second. The last value decides the type of reference that is returned. A '1' will return a cell reference with dollar signs, a fixed value. A '2' will have an absolute reference only for the row; a '3' will have an absolute reference for the column, and a '4' will just show the regular cell reference.

This combination of formulas may come in useful when you have combined many spreadsheets using the second macro referenced in the Tip of the Night for May 7, 2015., and the data from a particular field has been entered in different columns in each source spreadsheet.