Apache POI, translating Excel column number to letter

Recently I had to write some code to generate excel files using Apache POI. One of the files was fairly complex and used formulas in a few cells.

I found myself spending a few hours searching for a way to translate the indexed column numbers that POI uses to the column letters I needed in those formulas.

It turns out the solution is quite simple, you just have to use org.apache.poi.hssf.util.CellReference:

String columnLetter = CellReference.convertNumToColString(columnNumber);

6 Responses to Apache POI, translating Excel column number to letter

  1. alidadasb says:

    Thank you so much. It helped me.

  2. aaa says:

    thank you very much. It helped me to.

  3. gregjallen says:

    Even easier: new CellReference(cell).formatAsString()

  4. varantes says:

    Holly crap! So easy!!! Tks a lot!!!!!!

  5. jechaviz says:

    A hand-made way
    public static String columnName(int columnNumber){
    String columnNameReverseOrder=””;
    int reminder;
    do {
    String columnName=””;
    for(int i=columnNameReverseOrder.length()-1; i>=0; i–)
    return columnName;

  6. jechaviz says:

    A little improved way:
    public static String cl (int columnNumber){
    //cL stands for columnLetter
    //it’s based on a special case of number base change
    //by example in hex, characterSet=”0123456789ABCDEF”
    String columnName=””;
    int reminder;
    do {
    //delete — in next line if you wish just baseChange (binary, etc)..
    return columnName;

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