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Excel/Microsoft Excel Column Name Updates.


Dear Aidan

Do you feel Column Name changes from A, B, C to 1., 2., 3., 4. will have more advantages over the current
column name as A,B,C ... i.e. Similar to IP Address example

The Record/s names will remain the same as 1,2,3 ....

Examples :


For example A1 refers to Column 1, Row 1 and has value as 3 so we refer the cell value as A1=3
Now instead of A1=3, we will refer as 1.1=3


For example C4 refers to Column 3, Row 4  and has value as Hello so we refer the cell value as C4=Hello
Now instead of C4=Hello, we will refer as 3.4=Hello


Since the column name is changed from character to whole number(integer), the values in the column can  take any positive limits.

For example :

999.56 refers to column  999 and  row 56
3456.43 refers to column  3456 and  row 43

Note : Column Name should be changed to 1. (i.e. 1 followed by a Dot) and not only 1 because if we keep only 1 then for example 123 creates a ambiguity of which is the column i.e. 1 or 12.

In this example 123 will lead to column 1, row 23 or column 12, row 3.    

Correct :

12.3 refers to column 12, row 3
1.23 refers to column 1, row 23

i.e. Since the current convention if replaced by 1.,2.,3., the number of columns can exceed the limit of 16,384 columns i.e. 1,048,576 and we can have a large data set.

i.e. Now we can have 1,048,576 rows by 1,048,576 columns by taking this convention.

Also instead of . (dot) we can also use , (comma) for column,row bifurcation ?.

As for examples,

1.1 refers to column 1, row 1
1,1 refers to column 1, row 1

The current convention for the above example is A1. i.e. column 1, row 1.

Awaiting your reply,

Thanks & Regards,
Prashant S Akerkar

Although you have given me a lot of information, I'm not sure I follow what you actually want to know - however, assuming you are talking specifically about Excel, you can use the default naming convention of A1 or you can switch to R1C1 style notation - which I personally find more confusing as the formulas would look more like this


which indicates two rows towards the top and two columns towards the left of the current location - so when entered in 3,3 it would refer to 1,1 (or C3 referring to A1).  However, this doesn't alter the number of columns/rows you can use in your spreadsheet - in Excel versions up to 2003 the limits are 65,536 rows by 256 columns.  In Excel 2007 onwards these limits are 1,048,576 rows by 16,384 columns - but these are limits imposed by the software design, so you cannot get round them.  Excel will only understand references in the two formats mentioned.
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Aidan Heritage


I have provided first hand support since `95 for Microsoft Office majoring in Word and Excel - support for all versions from 2 onwards. I'm based in the UK, so please allow for time differences when asking me questions from other parts of the world!


My background is in the insurance industry and call centre areas, but have been called upon to provide many varied solutions.

I'm educated to UK A level standard, but as I left school some 30 years ago that is rather irrelevent - university of life has provided more of a background!

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