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How to auto number a column in Excel?

Have you ever wanted to number a column in Excel? This tutorial will talk about some methods for numbering a column.

Auto number a column by formula =ROW()

Auto number a column by formula =OFFSET()

Auto number a column by Auto Fill Handle

Number a column by Insert Sequence Number of Kutools for Excel

More tutorials about numbers...

Insert Sequnce Number in Excel

If you want to insert customized sequential numbers in Excel, such as KTE-0001-Jone, KTE-0002-Jone, KTE-0003-Jone..., the sequence strings will not be filled normally when dragging the mouse in Excel. Now, with the Insert Sequence Number utility of Kutools for Excel, you can create any customizing sequence numbers and insert them quickly.  Click to download 60-day free trial.


Auto number a column by formula =ROW()

If you want to number the column based on the row numbers, you can type this formula =ROW() into a cell and press Enter key then drag the autofill handle to the cells you need to number.


Auto number a column by formula =OFFSET(A2,-1,0)+1

If you want to auto number the column cells not based on the row number, you can type this formula =OFFSET(A2,-1,0)+1 into Cell A2 which you want to begin the number series from 1, and press Enter key then drag the autofill handle to cells you need.



1. With above formula to auto number a column, A2 is current cell's address, and the cell above this cell must be blank or 0. For example, if you want to enter this formula into Cell K5, the formula should be modified to =OFFSET(K5,-1,0)+1, and the Cell K4 must be blank or 0.

2. If you remove one number from the number series, the below numbers will be start from 1 again.


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Auto number a column by AutoFill function

In Excel, AutoFill function also can help you to number a column.

Type 1 into a cell that you want to start the numbering, then drag the autofill handle at the right-down corner of the cell to the cells you want to number, and click the fill options to expand the option, and check Fill Series, then the cells are numbered. See screenshot.


Note: If you delete one number of the number series, the other numbers are kept.

Insert column number by Insert Sequence Number of Kutools for Excel

If you want to insert custom sequence number to number a column, you can try the Insert Sequence Number tool of Kutools for Excel.

Kutools for Excel, with more than 300 handy functions, makes your jobs more easier. 

After free installing Kutools for Excel, please do as below:

1. Click Kutools > Insert > Insert Sequence Number.

2. Click New button to expand the dialog, then set your custom sequence as you need, you can specify the prefix and suffix, also can define the number of digits you want. See screenshot:
doc-number-column-7 doc-number-column-8

3. Click Add to create this sequence, then select a column range you want to insert the numbers, click Fill Range to fill the numbers into cells.


1. In the Insert Sequence Number dialog box, it will mark the last inserted sequential numbers in the Previous list, and if you insert this sequence number at next time, the first sequential number will be marked in Next list.

2. You can click New button to create more sequential numbers.

3. You can click Reset to reset the sequence.

4. With Insert Sequence Number tool, you also can do following operations:

Quickly create and insert repeated sequential numbers in a range of cells

Quickly create and insert sequential numbers in merged cells

Relative Articles:

  • How to change or convert number to text in Excel?
    Sometimes you may not want the numbers in the cells getting involved in calculating, or you may want to display leading zeros in numbers in cells. For doing so, you may need to change a number into text.

  • How to remove numbers from text strings in Excel?
    For example there are many numbers mixed in a text string, and you want to remove these numbers from the text string. How to get it done? This article will introduce a couple of tricky methods to remove numbers from text string cells in Excel easily.

  • How to identify missing numbers sequence in Excel?
    Let's say you have a long list of sequence numbers to mark items, such as check numbers in bank statements, normally we scrolling through and locate the missing sequence numbers manually. However, here are some tricky ways to deal with it.

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  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    Will · 6 months ago
    I'm confused regarding offset.

    I am trying to autofill from Cell A3 however, there is a title in Cell A2 describing what the numbers below represent.

    How do I use the autofill Offset formula, if the above Cell is not blank? Thanks
    • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
      Sunny · 4 months ago
      Hi, if the above cell is not blank, you can type the start number in the cell, suppoing, you want to fill numbers in D2:D8, and D1 contains header, you can type 1 into D2 firstly, then type formula =OFFSET(D3,-1,0)+1 into D3, and drag fill handle down to D8. See screenshot:
  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    Zoe · 8 months ago
    Is it possible to only auto fill to a certain number, without dragging to that number? Basically the total number is a variant,defined by a count function.
  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    Hans · 1 years ago
    I've deleted some rows in excel now my far left column numbering is eg 1,2,3,45,46,47 how do I get back to sequential numbering?
    • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
      Sunny · 1 years ago
      If you have deleted rows, then you just need to renumber the sequential numbering, you can type the begining number 1 in first cell, then drag fill handle down to fill seriers.
  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    415vac@gmail.com · 2 years ago
    When I insert a row, the first column should have the sl.no above+1 and the rows below should be automatically numbered. This should happen without I needing to drag the formula
    What is the solution for such case?
    • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
      Pkm · 1 years ago
      TRY THIS...


      IN A2....... =IF(B2>0,1,"")

      IN A3........=IF(B3>0,MAX($A$2:A2)+1,"")

    • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
      Sunny · 2 years ago
      Sorry my hands are tied.
  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    Salina · 2 years ago
    I want an auto-numbering that even if I delete a row in the middle, the numbers below will automatically adjust
    • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
      Sunny · 2 years ago
      =row() can work.
  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    JAMES · 2 years ago
    • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
      Sunny · 2 years ago
      What is your question? All methods above for auto number a column do not need to apply Kutools for Excel.