While working with Excel, we are able to count only the numbers in a data set by using the COUNT function. This step by step tutorial will assist all levels of Excel users in the usage and syntax of COUNT function.
Figure 1. Final result: Using COUNT function in Excel
Syntax of COUNT Function
COUNT function counts the number of cells containing numbers, including cells that can be represented as numbers such as date and time
=COUNT(value1, [value2], ...)
- value – any value, cell reference or range for which we want to count numbers; only value 1 is required, succeeding values are optional
- Numbers, time and dates are counted, while empty cells, text and logical values are ignored
- Numbers enclosed in quotation marks that are directly typed as arguments are counted
Setting up Our Data
We have a list in column B consisting of numbers, date, time, empty cell, text and logical values. We want to count the cells containing numbers by using the COUNT function. The result will be recorded in cell D3.
Figure 2. Sample data in using COUNT function in Excel
Count cells containing numbers using COUNT
In order to count the cells containing numbers, we follow these steps:
Step 1. Select cell D3
Step 2. Enter the formula:
Step 3: Press ENTER
Figure 3. Entering the formula to count numbers using COUNT
The argument for our COUNT function is the range B3:B10, which contains our list. COUNT function identifies the numbers only, including the values that represent numbers such as date and time.
In our list, the cells counted as numbers are B3, B4, B5 and B6. As a result, the value in cell D3 is “4”, which is the count for -1.5, 1/2/2019, 12:00, 100%.
The other values are not counted because those are not considered as numbers. Cell B7 is considered as a text value because it is enclosed in quotation marks. Cells B8, B9 and B10 contain a text, empty cell and logical value, respectively. Hence, cells B7:B10 are ignored by the COUNT function.
- Numbers enclosed in quotation marks can be counted by the COUNT function when directly typed into the formula. For example, enter this formula in a cell:
Figure 4. Number enclosed in quotation marks counted by COUNT function
- We can use COUNTA function when we want to count text, error or logical values
- We can use the COUNTIF or COUNTIFS function when we want to count values based on certain criteria
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