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ROW Function in Excel – Get Cell Row Number

Just like the COLUMN function, the ROW function in Excel is also an important cell reference function in excel.

This tutorial focuses on everything that you need to know about the ROW formula in excel. This blog covers the purpose of the ROW excel formula, its syntax, argument, and examples.

Here we go ๐Ÿ˜Ž

What is Use of ROW Function in Excel

By using the excel ROW function, you can find and get the row number of the selected and active cell or any other cell reference.

The ROW excel formula returns a whole number as its result (i.e. 1, 2, 3, 4, …).

Syntax and Argument


As seen above, the ROW formula in excel has one optional input argument viz [reference].

  • [reference] – This is the optional argument in which you need to enter the reference of the cell for which you want to find the row number.

If you keep the input argument of the ROW function as blank, excel would find and return the row number of the cell in which you are entering the =ROW() formula.

Examples of ROW Formula in Excel

In this section of the blog, we would go through both the types of examples of the ROW formula – i.e. with empty parenthesis and with cell reference.

Using ROW Function (without argument)

As mentioned in the above section, the input argument of the ROW function is an optional argument. It means that if you keep the formula parenthesis as empty, excel finds and returns the row number of the cell in which the formula resides.

Try entering this formula in cell D12.


As a result, you would notice that excel returns the whole number 12. This is because the row number of active cell D12 is 12.

ROW Function Example Without Input Argument

Let us now consider another example by using the formula input argument.

Infographic - ROW Formula Function in Excel

Using ROW Formula (with argument)

To get the row number of the cell other than the active or selected cell, simply put the cell reference inside the ROW function parenthesis.

Suppose, we want to get or return the row number of the cell $F$18 in cell A1. Use this formula-

=ROW(F18) or =ROW($F$18)

ROW Function Example With Input Argument

Now, when you are clear about how to use the ROW function in excel with and without input argument, let us consider some practical applicability of this formula.

Practical Usable of ROW Formula

In practical projects, I generally use this function to get and return the sequence or the serial number of the table, like this:

Practical Usage of Excel Row Function


In the above examples, the ROW() portion of the above formula returns the row number of selected cell A4 (i.e. 4). And then 3 is deducted from the result of the ROW() portion in order to nullify the impact of blanks rows 1, 2, and 3.

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