Excel ROW function


The Excel ROW function is used to return the row number of a cell reference. It’s a straightforward and versatile function that’s particularly useful in formulas where you need to identify the row position of a reference. This function can handle both single cell references and ranges, offering different outputs depending on the context.
  • reference: [Optional] The cell or range of cells for which you want the row number. If omitted, ROW returns the row number of the cell where the formula is entered.
Return value
Returns the row number(s) of the specified cell or range.

How to use

To use the ROW function, you can simply enter a cell reference as the argument. If you leave the argument blank, ROW returns the row number of the cell containing the formula. For ranges, it returns the row numbers for the entire range, which in Excel 365 and later versions will spill across multiple cells.


Simple ROW
Row Number of a Single Cell:

Returns 3, as B3 is in the third row.
ROW Without Reference
Automatic Reference to Current Cell:

Entered in cell E5, this formula returns 5, the row number of E5.
ROW with Range
Row Numbers for a Range:

Returns {2,3,4,5} in Excel 365, representing the row numbers for C2, C3, C4, and C5.
ROW in Excel Pre-365
First Row Number in a Range:
In pre-Excel 365, this formula would return 2, the row number of the first cell (C2) in the range.
ROW with Implicit Intersection
Single Value from a Range in Excel 365:
Returns 2 in Excel 365 due to implicit intersection, representing the first row in the range.

Additional Notes

  • ROW is particularly useful in dynamic formulas where the position of a cell matters.
  • In Excel 365, ROW with a range returns an array. Use the implicit intersection operator (@) if you need a single value.
  • This function is often used in conjunction with other functions like INDEX, MATCH, or OFFSET for advanced data manipulation.

Related Functions

Excel COLUMNS function

The Excel COLUMNS function counts the number of columns in a range, essential for dynamic formulas and adapting to data changes.

Excel COLUMN function

The Excel COLUMN function returns the column number of a cell reference, aiding in formulas needing column position awareness.

Excel ROWS function

The Excel ROWS function counts the number of rows in a range, essential for dynamic formulas and adapting to data changes.

Content Navigation