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How to count characters in cell/range/worksheet in Excel?

Sometimes, you may need to count the length of the letters in a cell, a range or a whole worksheet in Excel, so now I talk about the methods for you to get it done quickly.

Count characters in cell/range with formulas

Count characters in the whole worksheet with Word

Count the number of a specific character in a string with Kutools for Excel good idea3

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Count characters in cell/range with formulas


If only count the length of all characters in a cell, you can select a blank cell, and type this formula =LEN(A1) (A1 stands the cell you want to count letters, you can change it as you need), then press Enter button on the keyboard, the length of the letters in the cell has been counted. See screenshot:

Note: This method will count string length of all characters in the specified cell, including numbers, space, special marks, etc.

But if you want to count the characters in a range, you can type this formula =SUM(LEN(A1:B5)) (A1:B5 stands the range you want to count characters, you can change it as you need), then press Ctrl + Shift + Enter buttons on the keyboard, the length of the characters in the specified range has been counted. See screenshot:




Count characters in the whole worksheet with Word

If you want to count all the characters in a whole worksheet, there is not a direct way to count them in Excel, it must be with the help of Word.

1. Open the worksheet you want to count the letters, and press Ctrl + A to select the whole worksheet, then copy them to a Word document.

2. Then in Word, click Review > Word Count, see screenshot:


3. In the pop-up Word Count dialog, you can see the number of letters. See screenshot:



Count the number of a specific character in a string with Kutools for Excel

If you want to count only the occurrnce of a specific character in a string, you can use Kutools for Excel's COUNTCHAR function to quickly count the number of a character in a cell.

Kutools for Excel, with more than 120 handy functions, makes your jobs easier. 

After installing Kutools for Excel, please do as below:(Free Download Kutools for Excel Now!)

1. Select a cell you want to output the counting result, and click Kutools > Functions > Statistical & Math > COUNTCHAR .See screenshot:
doc count characters 1

2. Then in the Function Arguments dialog, select the string that you want to count from to the textbox besides Within_text, and enter the character surrounded with double quotation marks which you want to count in the Find_text box. See screenshot:
doc count characters 2

Note: This function count character with case sensitive.

3. Click Ok to close the dialog, and drag the autofill handle down to apply the formulas to cells you need.
doc count characters 3

Tip.If you want to quickly count the times of a word appears in a cell or range, please try to use the Kutools for Excel’s Count times a word appears as shown in the following screenshot. It’s full function without limitation in 60 days, please download and have a free trial now.


Count times a word appears

doc formula 1

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  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    ABAT · 3 months ago
    To count all characters in a worksheet: - Rather than bother copying to Word, just use formula
    ' =SUMPRODUCT(LEN(A1:B5)) '.
    It works, try it!!
    In fact SUM(LEN(A1:B5)) will probably crash with #VALUE! error if used over large ranges, or a lot of characters are in each cell,
    particularly in older versions of Excel like Excel2000.

    So if you are getting #VALUE! errors when using ' SUM(LEN(A1:B5)) ', switch to SUMPRODUCT.
    I prefer this to tediously copying to Word, because with SUMPRODUCT :-

    1) It works over large ranges easily, on cell formating of any kind

    2) You can deduct parts of a range that may not be relevant (e.g. a cell, row or column that contains personal notes not relevant to the data you want to count)
    e.g. =SUMPRODUCT(LEN(B1:L5799)) - LEN(C4) removes the count of characters in Cell C4 from the whole range B1:L5799
    =SUMPRODUCT(LEN(B1:L5799)) - SUMPRODUCT(LEN(B462:L462)) removes the count of characters in Row 462 from the whole range B1:L5799
    =SUMPRODUCT(LEN(B1:L5799)) - SUMPRODUCT(LEN(D1:D5799)) removes the count of characters in Col. D from the whole range B1:L5799

    3) You can add ranges on more than one sheet, so without pasting every sheet to Word, you can get a total no. of characters in the whole Workbook
    e.g =SUMPRODUCT(LEN(B3:L799))+SUMPRODUCT(LEN(Sheet2!B4:C7))+SUMPRODUCT(LEN(Sheet3!A1:C7000)) is totaling the count for data on 3 sheets

    4) These formulae will update as your worksheet progresses - otherwise you will have to keep pasting to Word every time you alter your data and need a revised count of the characters

    5) It keeps your information in one place.

    Warning A) - Both ' SUMPRODUCT(LEN(A1:B5)) ' and ' SUM(LEN(A1:B5)) ' will fail if any of the individual cells in the range contain a formula that cannot compute and produce an error value such as #VALUE!, #NULL!, #REF!, #NUM!,#DIV/0! etc. Always best to combine error protection to your formulae in every cell.
    You can use Error protection on SUMPRODUCT to flag an error, such as ' =IF(ISERROR(SUMPRODUCT(LEN(B4:C7))),"err",SUMPRODUCT(LEN(B4:C7)))'
    which outputs the message "err" if any cell contains an error, but you cannot obtain the character count of the range until the cell(s) causing the errors are corrected, or the range is modified to omit the cell(s) containing the error.
  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    FETTY · 9 months ago
    NAOMBA NISAIDIE KUJUA IDADI YA ROW NA COLUM KWENYE EXCEL
  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    Deschreider M.M. · 2 years ago
    Copying the contents of the whole worksheet into word in order to be able to count the number of characters in the worksheet is an excellent advice! Thank you very much.
  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    Xls · 4 years ago
    This formula counts characters, not letters as the title implies it should.