Ever wonder where the character count command is in Excel? It doesn’t exist, at least not in the same sense as Word’s word count feature–Excel isn’t a word processor. You can’t select a block of text and quickly see how many characters the selection contains. But Excel does have a nifty little function, LEN, that lets you count characters by using a formula.
LEN takes a text string as its only input – though of course you can use a cell reference instead of actual text data. To use LEN, just enter the formula as you would any other. Here’s an example:
You can see the formula in the formula bar (the selected cell is D9). When the text in C9 changes, the LEN function recalculates.
What about word count? That’s a little trickier–but you can read more about counting in the Excel Help article Ways to count values in a worksheet, which includes a section on word count.
– Steven Thomas