How to count the number of commas/dashes separated values in a cell in Excel?

For example you have a cell containing many commas in Excel, how could you easily count the total number of all commas in this cell? This article provides two methods to solve it quickly!


Count the number of commas/dashes in a cell with formula

This method will introduce a formula to quickly count the total number of all commas or dashes in one cell in Excel. Please do as follows:

Select the cell you will place the counting result, type the formula =LEN(A2)-LEN(SUBSTITUTE(A2,",","")) (A2 is the cell where you will count the commas) into it, and then drag this cell’s AutoFill Handle to the range as you need. See screenshot:

Note: For counting the number of dashes, please replace the commas with the dashes in the formulas as =LEN(A2)-LEN(SUBSTITUTE(A2,"-","")).


Count the number of commas/dashes in a cell with Kutools for Excel’s formula

Sometimes, you may be not able to remember the formula exactly. Here we recommend the Count times a word appears formula of Kutools for Excel, which can help you quickly count a character or a word in a cell easily. Please do as follows:

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1. Select a blank cell you will place the counting result into, and click Kutools > Formula Helper > StatisticCount the number of a word.

2. In the opening Formula Helper dialog box, please specify the cell where you will count the commas/dashes in the Text box, type the , or - into the Word box, and click the OK button. See screenshot:

doc count commas dashes 03

And then the total number of commas/dashes in the specified cell has been counted and returned into the selected cell. If necessary, please drag this cell’s AutoFill Handle to the range as you need. See screenshot:

Note: This Count times a word appears formula is also able to count the specified character or word in a range. See below screenshot:

doc count commas dashes 05

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Demo: Count the number of commas/dashes in a cell/range


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Kutools for Excel’s Select SpecifiC Cells feature can help us to quickly select all cells which contain, begin with, end with, or equal to the certain text string in the specified range. Simultaneously, a dialog box will come out and show us how many cells have been selected. Full Feature Free Trial 30-day!
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