# 4.3.4 Column Short Name Restriction

Since version 2017, Origin has supported a simplified "spreadsheet cell notation", similar to that used in MS Excel. When Spreadsheet Cell Notation is turned on (default), you will see this icon in the upper-left corner of the workbook:

When cell notation is turned on, column Short Names are not editable and cannot be reordered. Column Short Names are ordered alphabetically according to column index as follows:

A, B, …, Z, AA, BB, …, ZZ, .etc

If you insert or moved columns within the worksheet, you will notice that column Short Names are reassigned alphabetically. The purpose of this column Short Name restriction is to allow the user to refer to column by its Short Name directly in the column formula. So you can use

• A can be used to refer to column with Short Name "A", replacing the old col(A) syntax.
• A1 can be used to refer to the first cell in column A, equal to the old syntax col(A)[1].
• [Book2]Sheet1!A can be used to refer to the first column of Book2, Sheet1, even though it is not the current worksheet. This is supported only when Spreadsheet Cell Notation is turned on.
 Note: When refer to a column by its Short Name in the column formula, the Short Name must be limited to no more than 3 characters. Otherwise such column reference cannot be recognized. For those Short Name exceeds 3 characters, use col() or wcol() for reference. if use function with string parameter, such as Token, should use double quote instead of single quote.

Note that the "old" col/wcol syntax is still usable, though some of the advantages afforded by the new syntax are not supported. For instance, if you insert a worksheet column ahead of a column of values derived from an F(x)= or Set Values formula that uses the old syntax, the column formula does not automatically adjust to the new data arrangement.

 Example 1 Type the following Excel-like formula in F(x) column label row: A-abs(B) to calculate column A minus the absolute values of column B. Example 2 Type following formula in the Set Values dialog: B+A2 to calculate column B plus the second cell in column A. Example 3 In the first column of Book1, sheet1, type following formula in F(x) column label row: [Book2]Sheet1!A+[Book2]Sheet1!B to set values by data in another workbook, [Book2]Sheet1.

When Spreadsheet Cell Notation is turned on, the column Short Name cannot be edited.

 Note: Workbooks and Projects that use the simplified notation do not work in pre-2017 versions of Origin.

For more on column naming as it relates to worksheet calculations in Origin, see these topics: