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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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