# How to convert Excel column numbers into alphabetical characters

Note

## Introduction

This article discusses how to use the Microsoft Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) function in Microsoft Excel to convert column numbers into their corresponding alphabetical character designator for the same column.

For example, the column number 30 is converted into the equivalent alphabetical characters "AD".

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The ConvertToLetter function works by using the following algorithm:

1. Let `iCol` be the column number. Stop if `iCol` is less than 1.
2. Calculate the quotient and remainder on division of `(iCol - 1)` by 26, and store in variables `a` and `b`.
3. Convert the integer value of `b` into the corresponding alphabetical character (0 => A, 25 => Z) and tack it on at the front of the result string.
4. Set `iCol` to the divisor `a` and loop.

For example: The column number is 30.

• (Loop 1, step 1) The column number is at least 1, proceed.

• (Loop 1, step 2) The column number less one is divided by 26:

29 / 26 = 1 remainder 3. `a = 1, b = 3`

• (Loop 1, step 3) Tack on the `(b+1)` letter of the alphabet:

3 + 1 = 4, fourth letter is "D". Result = "D"

• (Loop 1, step 4) Go back to step 1 with `iCol = a`

`iCol = 1`

• (Loop 2, step 1) The column number is at least 1, proceed.

• (Loop 2, step 2) The column number less one is divided by 26:

0 / 26 = 0 remainder 0. `a = 0, b = 0`

• (Loop 2, step 3) Tack on the `b+1` letter of the alphabet:

0 + 1 = 1, first letter is "A" Result = "AD"

• (Loop 2, step 4) Go back to step 1 with `iCol = a`

`iCol = 0`

• (Loop 3, step 1) The column number is less than 1, stop.

The following VBA function is just one way to convert column number values into their equivalent alphabetical characters:

``````Function ConvertToLetter(iCol As Long) As String
Dim a As Long
Dim b As Long
a = iCol
ConvertToLetter = ""
Do While iCol > 0
a = Int((iCol - 1) / 26)
b = (iCol - 1) Mod 26
ConvertToLetter = Chr(b + 65) & ConvertToLetter
iCol = a
Loop
End Function
``````

Note This function only converts integers that are passed to it into their equivalent alphanumeric text character. It does not change the appearance of the column or the row headings on the physical worksheet.