How to count characters in Excel
Microsoft has upped the educational content in its Excel blog. Here are highlights from recent posts, including the answer to a very popular Any Answers query.
More than 50,000 people have visited AccountingWEB.co.uk to find the answer to Michael Ung’s 2007 Any Answers query, Is there a formula that will count the number of characters in a cell?
For those who want a more detailed answer, help is at hand from Microsoft’s Steven Thomas. In a recent post on the company’s Excel blog, he explained how to use the LEN function to get a cell's character count.
Unlike Word, Excel does not have a built-in function that lets you select a block of text and see how many characters the selection contains. But Excel’s LEN function is the next best thing and lets you count characters by using a formula.
To apply LEN, you will need to enter a text string in the same way as any other formula - though often you may want to use a cell reference rather than actual text data:
Here's an example:
The Formula bar will display the logic entered into the selected cell (D9), and whenever the text in C9 changes, the LEN function will recalculate. A separate Excel Help article on the Microsoft Office website explains ways to count values in a worksheet, including word counts.
The character count tutorial is just one of many new postings on the Excel blog. Other recent highlights include:
- Introduction to PowerPivot for Excel
- Excel Skills Builder - a training series made up of five short videos that you can work through to develop your knowledge of different tasks. The subjects covered include: Tables, sorting and filtering; visual data analysis with conditional formatting and sparklines; collaboration and sharing techniques; and macros/reporting.