Count Characters in Excel (Table of Contents)
Count Characters in Excel
Count Characters in Excel is a commonly used method in Excel, this may be because we have some boundaries in excel, or the user may have limited that some characters should only be entered in the cells. This is why it is essential for us to understand how to count a number of characters in a cell. In excel we can count the characters by using the excel built-in function called LEN (Length)
LEN function is a built-in function in excel which is categorized as String or text. This LEN function normally used to count the characters which will return the number of characters in a text string. i.e. length of the specified string.
Syntax for LEN function:
Text: which is used to calculate length.
How to Count Characters in Excel?
In the following examples, we will see how to count characters in excel.
Example #1 – Using LEN Function
Consider the simple example where we have a list of names in this where we need to count the number of characters in each cell which is shown below.
We will see how to use LEN function by following the below steps.
- To use the function first enter the formulation
- =LEN(text) which is shown in the below screenshot.
- The argument text is nothing but the corresponding data that we need to count
- Here in our example apply the formula as =LEN(A1)
- Press enter so that the output will be displayed as follows.
- As we can see in the above screenshot we got the output as “4”.
- Drag down the formula to all cells so that we will get the length of the specified string which is shown below.
In the above screenshot we can see that for first name “JOHN” we got the output as 4 and for the second name “Martin Chapel” we got the output as 13. We can wonder why we got the output as 13, if we check manually there are only12 words but we got the output as 13 because the LEN function counts the spaces also, for this reason, we got the output as 13.
Example # 2 – Using String and Numbers
In the above example, we have seen how to count the character using LEN with only String. Now in this example, we are going to see how to count the character with the combination of both string and numbers which is shown below.
In the above screenshot, we can see the raw data contain names along with numbers and string and combination of both string and numbers. Let’s see how the LEN function works by following the below procedure.
- First, create a new column as output. Use the Len function as =LEN(cell)
- In this example apply the LEN function as =LEN(A2), So that it will return the character count as 4 as shown in the below screenshot.
- Now drag down the formula for all the cells. LEN function count not only the characters it counts also the numbers and returns the exact count.
In the above screenshot we can see that LEN function returned the exact count for all set of series as we can see in the 2 row we have numeric “332-56” so the LEN function counts each text and returned the output as “6” and at the same time we can see the combination of both string and numbers on cell “A5”. Here too the LEN function returned the exact count of both strings and numbers.
Example #3 – Using Multiple LEN Function
In this example, we are going to see how to use multiple LEN functions to count the arithmetic operators. Consider the below example which has a combination of string plus arithmetic operator.
In the above example, we can see that two columns have been created one is for to count the number of text and another column is to count only the arithmetic operator. In order to differentiate the count of both text and operators we are going to work in this example
As we have seen in the above example LEN function returns and count the characters along with the spaces. First, let’s apply the same formula in the B column which is shown below.
The above screenshot shows the Count of characters which we have applied using LEN function. Assume that we need to count only the arithmetic operators. In these cases, we cannot apply LEN function because LEN function will count all the text including spaces and return the number of the count for the specific data. In order to find how many operators are there in specific cell please follow the below procedure
Consider the below example which is shown below.
First Use the LEN function. On the column C insert the LEN function as below.
- In this LEN formula, we have used SUBSTITUTE function which replaces the text with new text in a text string
- First, we used LEN function which will count the characters – LEN(SUBSTITUTE(OLD TEXT, NEW TEXT) i.e. the old text is nothing but the A2 cell and new text is “*”. So that it will replace the text with new string what we have specified in the formula and it returns the output as 2 which is shown below.
- Now drag down the formula by specifying the new string.
- Now we will get the following result.
- Result is as below.
Example #4 – LEN and SUBSTITUTE Function
In this example, we are going see how to count specific characters by using the same LEN and SUBSTITUTE function. Consider the below example which contains the sentence “Amazon Big Billion Days Started. Time to shop online”
In the above screenshot, we have used the LEN function to count the number of character. We got the exact count of character as 53. Assume that we need to count how many “o” are there in the sentence.
We can use the same LEN and SUBSTITUTE formula to find the exact count by following the below steps
- Click on the specific column.
- Enter then LEN function formula as below
- The above formula describes that we have applied LEN function to count the character – LEN(SUBSTITUTE(OLD TEXT, NEW TEXT) i.e. old text is nothing but the A9 cell and new text is “o” where it counts only the specific text we have mentioned and we got the output as follows.
Things to Remember About Count Characters in Excel
- While using LEN function makes sure that your blank spaces are not used to avoid the confusion.
- LEN function will count and return all the text whatever we have specified in the data.
This is a guide to Count Characters in Excel. Here we discuss how to use the Count Characters in Excel along with practical examples and downloadable excel template. You can also go through our other suggested articles –