Note: The other languages of the website are Google-translated. Back to English
English English

How to sort list of cells by word count in Excel?

In this article, I am going to talking about sorting list of strings by the number of words. If you are interested in it, please go down to view detail.

Sort by word count with formula

Sort by word count with Count words in rangegood idea3

Sort by word count with formula

To sort the list by word count, you need to know the count of the word in each cell first.

1. Select a cell next to the list, type this formula =LEN(A1)-LEN(SUBSTITUTE(A1," ",""))+1, press Enter key, and drag fill handle down to the cells formulas you need.
doc sort by word count 1

2. Keep formula cells selected, and click Data > Sort A to Z, check the Expand the selection option in the Sort Warning dialog.
doc sort by word count 2

3. Click Sort. The list has been sorted by word count.
doc sort by word count 3


1. The above formula does not directly count words, but count spaces between words and add 1 to get the number of words, if there are some extra spaces such as leading space in the string, the result will be incorrect.
doc sort by word count 4

2. If you want to sort by character count, use this formula =LEN(A1) to count characters and then sort.

Sort by word count with Count words in range

To count the number of words in a cell or a range, the Count total words of Kutools for Excel can do a perfect favor.

Kutools for Excel, with more than 300 handy functions, makes your jobs more easier. 

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

1. Select a cell next to the list of strings, and click Kutools > Formula Helper > StatisticalCount total words. See screenshot:
doc sort by word count 5

2. Then in the Formula Helper dialog, select the cell you use to count in Range, in default, the cells will be selecetd as absolute reference, you can change it to relative refenece. See screenshot:
doc sort by word count 6

3. Click Ok, and the number of words has been counted in the cell. Drag the fill handle down to apply the formula to the cells.
doc sort by word count 7

4. Keep the formula cells selected, click Data > Sort A to Z, and check Expand the selection in the popping dialog.
doc sort by word count 8

5. Click Sort, and the list has been sorted by word count.
doc sort by word count 9

Relative Articles

The Best Office Productivity Tools

Kutools for Excel Solves Most of Your Problems, and Increases Your Productivity by 80%

  • Reuse: Quickly insert complex formulas, charts and anything that you have used before; Encrypt Cells with password; Create Mailing List and send emails...
  • Super Formula Bar (easily edit multiple lines of text and formula); Reading Layout (easily read and edit large numbers of cells); Paste to Filtered Range...
  • Merge Cells/Rows/Columns without losing Data; Split Cells Content; Combine Duplicate Rows/Columns... Prevent Duplicate Cells; Compare Ranges...
  • Select Duplicate or Unique Rows; Select Blank Rows (all cells are empty); Super Find and Fuzzy Find in Many Workbooks; Random Select...
  • Exact Copy Multiple Cells without changing formula reference; Auto Create References to Multiple Sheets; Insert Bullets, Check Boxes and more...
  • Extract Text, Add Text, Remove by Position, Remove Space; Create and Print Paging Subtotals; Convert Between Cells Content and Comments...
  • Super Filter (save and apply filter schemes to other sheets); Advanced Sort by month/week/day, frequency and more; Special Filter by bold, italic...
  • Combine Workbooks and WorkSheets; Merge Tables based on key columns; Split Data into Multiple Sheets; Batch Convert xls, xlsx and PDF...
  • More than 300 powerful features. Supports Office/Excel 2007-2019 and 365. Supports all languages. Easy deploying in your enterprise or organization. Full features 30-day free trial. 60-day money back guarantee.
kte tab 201905

Office Tab Brings Tabbed interface to Office, and Make Your Work Much Easier

  • Enable tabbed editing and reading in Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Publisher, Access, Visio and Project.
  • Open and create multiple documents in new tabs of the same window, rather than in new windows.
  • Increases your productivity by 50%, and reduces hundreds of mouse clicks for you every day!
officetab bottom
Comments (0)
No ratings yet. Be the first to rate!
There are no comments posted here yet
Leave your comments
Posting as Guest
Rate this post:
0   Characters
Suggested Locations