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Count Words in a Cell or Range of Cell. See also
See Also: Summing, Counting & Pivot Tables in Excel
Unlike Microsoft Word, Excel does not give us a ready made way to find out the number of words in a cell, or a range of cells containing text, or words. However, with the help of the SUBSTITUTE function/formula and the LEN function/formula we can. If you are not familiar with these functions/formulas I have written an explanation below.
SUBSTITUTE
Syntax
=substitute(text,old_text,new_text,instance_num)
What it does
Substitutes new_text for old_text in a text string. Use SUBSTITUTE when you want
to replace specific text in a text string; use REPLACE when you want to replace
any text that occurs in a specific location in a text string.
Example
=SUBSTITUTE(A1, "Sales", "Cost") If A1 had the text "Sales Data" the formula
result would be "Cost Data".
LEN
Syntax
=len(text)
What it does
LEN returns the number of characters in a text string.
Example
=LEN(A1) If A1 had the text "Sales Data" the formula result would be 10 as A1
has 9 text characters and 1 space character.
Count Words in a Cell
The formula below will return the number of words (not characters) in cell A1
=LEN(A1)LEN(SUBSTITUTE(A1," ",""))+1
Be aware that superfluous spaces are also counted and may give misleading results. To ensure accuracy we can simply nest the TRIM formula function/formula in the first LEN
=LEN(TRIM(A1))LEN(SUBSTITUTE(A1," ",""))+1
Count Words in a Range of Cells
The formula below will return the number of words (not characters) in cells A1:A5
=LEN(TRIM(A1&A2&A3&A4&A5))LEN(SUBSTITUTE(A1&A2&A3&A4&A5," ",""))+5
Or
=LEN(TRIM(A1&A2&A3&A4&A5))LEN(SUBSTITUTE(A1&A2&A3&A4&A5," ",""))+Rows(A1:A5)
Keep in kind that the formula above WILL return 1 for an empty cell, due to +1. Overcome that problem by use of this function;
=LEN(TRIM(A1))LEN(SUBSTITUTE(TRIM(A1)," ",""))+(LEN(A1)>1)
The +(LEN(A1)>1) will either return TRUE (1) or FALSE (0).
See Also: Summing, Counting & Pivot Tables in Excel
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