# Mac SOS

## Mac problems solved

I’m just getting to grips with Numbers after nearly a (working) lifetime of using Excel. Mostly it seems quite similar, but one thing continues to stump me. Is there a way to change the column labels to numbers instead of letters? I have some spreadsheets with many hundreds of columns and this can get quite unwieldy using letters. Peter Mack Do you mean so that cell A1 becomes 1,1? You can’t do that in Numbers, nor can you do it in Excel. After column Z, it moves on to AA, AB, AC and so on up to AZ, then changes to AAA, AAB and so on. This is actually slightly more compact than using numbers because you are effectively counting in base 26. Column AAA is number 17,516.

You can of course create your own labels in row 1 and use these instead. By default Numbers assumes that whatever you enter in row 1 is the column header for the rows below. Right-click that row and choose Freeze Header Rows so it doesn’t scroll out of view. You’ll still need to use the A1, B2 convention to refer to cells in formulae, unless you add complexity with cell lookup functions, but at least they’ll be labelled to your liking on screen.