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How to count comma separated values in a single cell in Excel?

If cell content is separated by comma in a single cell, such as “A1, A2, A3, A4, A5”, and you want to count the total number of comma separated values in this cell, what can you do? In this case, the total comma separated values should be 5. In this article, we will show you two methods of counting comma separated values in a single cell in Excel.

Count comma separated values in a single cell with formula

Count comma separated values in a single cell with Kutools for Excel


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arrow blue right bubble Count comma separated values in a single cell with formula


You can count the number of items which are separated by comma in a single cell with following formula.

1. Select a blank cell which is adjacent to the cell you want to count comma separated values.

2. Type formula =LEN(TRIM(A1))-LEN(SUBSTITUTE(TRIM(A1),",",""))+1 into the formula bar, and then press the Enter key.

You can see the total number of comma separated values is populated in the selected cell. See screenshot:

3. Drag the Fill Handle down to the cells you want to cover this formula to get the results.


arrow blue right bubble Count comma separated values in a single cell with Kutools for Excel

With the Split Cells utility of Kutools for Excel, you can easily separate a comma separated value cell with comma, and then get the number of comma separated values in the Status Bar. Please do as follows.

Kutools for Excel : with more than 300 handy Excel add-ins, free to try with no limitation in 60 days.

1. Select the cell you want to count comma separated values, and click Kutools > Text > Split Cells. See screenshot:

2. In the Split Cells dialog box, select the Other option, enter a comma to the following box, and then click the OK button.

3. In the popping up Split Cells dialog box, select a blank cell for locating the split values, then click the OK button.

Then the specified cell is split into multiple cells by comma, now you can get the total number of comma separated values in the Status Bar. See screenshot:

Note: You can split multiple cells by commas at the same time by selecting all of these cells firstly and then applying this utility.

Tip.If you want to have a free trial of this utility, please go to download the software freely first, and then go to apply the operation according above steps.


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  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    Shandoo · 1 years ago
    This worked great for me but i had to edit formula for Office 2016. (TRIM(A1),",","")) replaced with (TRIM(A1);",";""))
    • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
      crystal · 1 years ago
      Dear Shandoo,

      Thank you for your supplement!
  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    vikas · 2 years ago
    i have comma separated values in cells like
    A=1,2,3,4,5,6
    B=3,4,5,6,7,8
    I want to add the contents of the two cells without repeating the value and also want to get the common value of two cells
    expected result = 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8
    =3,4,5,6

    i am not getting the exact formula in microsoft excel 2013
    Kindly help me

    Thanks
    • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
      shikhar · 2 years ago
      have you found out the way to achieve this? i am looking for exactly the same thing.
      thanks
  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    James55 · 3 years ago
    What if some of the cells underneath are blank? When using the fill handle on the rest of the cells it's coming up with 1 as the total.
    • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
      Steve · 2 years ago
      Hello James55, don't know if you ever got an answer but in case you need one. Use an IF statement to check if the cell is blank and then print a "0" or null "" whichever you like.

      =IF(A1="","0",(LEN(TRIM(A1))-LEN(SUBSTITUTE(TRIM(A1),",",""))+"1"))