Excel Tip of the Day

Counting text entries in Excel (97/2000/2001/2002)

If you've ever tried to perform a simple count, such as the number of names in a list, you may have been frustrated by the results. For example, say you have a series of names in cells B2:B8. In cell B16, you enter the formula:


Instead of the expected answer of 7, the formula returns 0. The reason is that Excel's COUNT funcion actually only counts numeric values. To count any entry, regardless of type, you must use the COUNTA function. For example, the formula:


returns the number of name entries. Note that this counts any non-blank cells in the specified range, so a cell will be counted even if just displays an error message.

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