The cell(rowNum, colNum) function gets or sets values in the active worksheet or matrix. Indicate the row number and column number in parentheses. To specify a name of the specific worksheet/matrix, use the notation: winName!cell(rowNum, colNum). This notation is not supported for other worksheet functions.

Cell is an older LabTalk function, and in newer versions of Origin, other methods to access the cell contents of a worksheet are provided:

Function Form:

 Cell(rowNum, colNum[,reference]), or Cell(rowNum, colNum[,reference])$


 winName!Cell(rowNum, colNum[,reference])

Setting optional parameter reference = 1, returns information about linked cells (e.g. whether a cell is linked; what the linked cell contains):

cell(1,1,1); // for example, returns type of cell reference in row 1, column 1
0 = not a cell reference
1 = cell link (cell://) 
2 = formula (=) 
3 = var link (var://) 
4 = str link (str://) 
5 = file link (file://) 
6 = graph link (graph://) 
7 = matrix link (matrix://) 
8 = embedding graph (embedding:Graph Name) 
9 = embedding matrix book (embedding:Matrix Name)
10 = embedding notes (embedding:Note Name)
11 = embedding EMF(embedding: EMF xxx)
12 = embedding BMP(embedding: LBmp xxx)
13 = DDE (DDE://)


  • Links like range://, http:// etc. will return 0 since their values can be directly accessed.
  • To return the raw reference string, use cell(rowNum, colNum, 1)$:
cell(1,2,1)$=; // for example, returns the raw reference at row 1, column 2, as a string


Example 1

In the following example, the variable %W is assigned the value in row 50 of the third column in the active worksheet (or matrix).

%W = cell(50, 3)$;

If no sheet is specified, active sheet is assumed:


One can specify a particular sheet such as:


Example 2

In the following example, the fifth cell in the second column in the Matrix3 is assigned to the value 100.

Matrix3!cell(5, 2) = 100;

Example 3

The following sample script loops over the active sheet checking column 2 for linked cells, returns a reference value (see above) corresponding to the type of link in cell and returns the link as a string.

loop(ii, 1, 11){cell(ii,2,1)=;cell(ii,2,1)$=;};