# Excel COLUMNS function

## Summary

The Excel COLUMNS function is designed to return the number of columns in a given reference. It is particularly useful in situations where you need to determine the column count within a range, which can be a single range, multiple ranges, or even an entire row. This function is commonly used in array formulas, dynamic ranges, and when creating formulas that need to adapt to changing data dimensions.
##### Syntax
```				```
=COLUMNS(array)
```
```
• array: The range or array from which you want to count the number of columns.
##### Return value
Returns the count of columns in the specified range or array.

## How to use

Use the COLUMNS function by specifying a range or array as the argument. The function then calculates and returns the number of columns in that range. It’s particularly useful in formulas where the range size might vary or when working with data tables where the column count can change.

## Examples

##### Simple COLUMNS
Count Columns in a Single Range:
```				```
=COLUMNS(A1:C1)

```
```
This formula returns 3, indicating there are three columns in the range A1 to C1.
##### COLUMNS in Dynamic Range
```				```
=COLUMNS(B2:H2)
```
```
Assuming B2:H2 is a dynamic range that can change, this formula will return the number of columns currently in that range.
##### COLUMNS with Multiple Ranges
Counting Columns Across Multiple Ranges:
```				```
=COLUMNS((A1:B1, D1:F1))
```
```
In Excel 365, this formula counts columns in both ranges A1:B1 and D1:F1, returning 5.
##### COLUMNS for Entire Row
Counting Columns in an Entire Row:
```				```
=COLUMNS(3:3)
```
```
This returns the total number of columns in row 3, which is equal to the total number of columns in the worksheet.