Formula Watch: COUNT your cells the easy way

If you want to get a quick count of your cells, you probably use the Excel status bar. But if you want to include the results in a report or summary, there’s an even better way: the COUNT function.

There are all sorts of applications for this. You can use it to count how many records are in a spreadsheet, total sales that exceed a certain threshold, or even the number of articles you have left to finish writing.

For most counts, you’ll want to use COUNTA, like so:


This counts all cells in use, including text strings and number values. If you want to exclude any text strings in a range and only count cells with numbers, use COUNT instead:


If you want to count empty cells, there’s a function for that too:


Now here’s a really useful one. COUNTIF lets you set a condition. For instance, I keep track of which articles I have complete for this blog by marking them with a "Y" and incomplete articles with an "N.". It’s easy to write a function to keep track of just the cells with "N" in them:

=COUNTIF(D2:D190, "=N")


You can use a COUNTIF function to track numbers too. You could replace the "=N" in that function with ">1000" to only count the number of cells with values exceeding $1000.


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