How to Count Numbers in a Cell in Excel?

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In this article, we will demonstrate 5 easy ways to do the task effortlessly.

For various purposes, like data analysis, data validation, data cleanup, and for many more reasons you might need to count numbers in a cell.

In a large dataset, where you have a bulk amount of data, counting numbers in a cell might seem hard, however, this is not the case. Rather, using some simple formulas and techniques, you can do the task in a blink of an eye.

In the following image, you can see the overview of counting numbers in a cell. So, let’s go through the following article so that you can do the task as well.

Overview Image to Count Numbers in a Cell in Excel


Why Do You Need to Count Numbers in a Cell in Excel?

Counting numbers in a cell in Excel can be useful for a variety of reasons. Here are a few common needs for counting numbers in Excel cells:

  • Data Analysis: Counting numbers helps you analyze data in a simple way. You can figure out how often certain values or categories appear within a group of cells by looking at their frequency or occurrence.
  • Data Validation: Counting numbers can be useful for checking data. For instance, you might want to make sure that a certain amount of entries or values are present in a group of cells. By counting the numbers, you can confirm if the right number of entries is there.
  • Reporting and Summarizing: Counting numbers helps you make useful reports and summaries. You can tally the number of times certain values or criteria appear to make charts, graphs, or tables, which gives you a better understanding of your data.
  • Conditional Logic: Counting numbers helps you use special rules in Excel. You can use functions like COUNTIF or COUNTIFS to tally numbers based on specific conditions. This helps you sort and study data based on different situations.
  • Data Cleanup: Counting numbers can be useful when tidying up data. You can count how many cells are empty or contain errors to find problems with the data’s quality or missing values.
  • Data Entry and Verification: Counting numbers is helpful for keeping track of the number of things you’ve recorded or checking if you’ve entered all the necessary information. This is especially useful when dealing with lots of data or when there are specific rules for what needs to be entered.

How to Count Numbers in a Cell in Excel: 5 Handy Methods

In the following dataset, you can see that we have Employee Name and Yearly Salary columns. Now, we will count the numbers in the cells of the Yearly Salary column. We will go through 5 methods to do the task.

Here, we used Excel 365. You can use any available Excel version.

Dataset to Count Numbers in a Cell in Excel


1. Count Numbers with the LEN Function in a Cell

In this method, we will use the LEN function to count numbers in a cell in Excel.

  • First of all, we will type the following formula in cell D5.
=LEN(C5)

The LEN function counts the number of characters a cell value has. This function counts everything it finds in a cell. If the cells contain only numbers, we can simply use this function.

  • After that, press ENTER.

Then, you can see the result in cell D5.

  • Moreover, we will drag down the formula with the Fill Handle.

Thus, you can see the complete Numbers in Cells column.

Using LEN Function to count numbers in a cell in Excel


2. Count Only Numbers in a Cell with SUM, LEN, and SUBSTITUTE Functions

In this method, we will use the combination of SUM, LEN, and SUBSTITUTE functions to count numbers in a cell in Excel.

  • In the beginning, we will type the following formula in cell D5.
=SUM(LEN(C5)-LEN(SUBSTITUTE(C5,{1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,0},)))
  • Then, press ENTER.

Then, you can see the result in cell D5.

  • Moreover, we will drag down the formula with the Fill Handle.

Thus, you can see the complete Numbers in Cells column.

Using SUM, LEN, and SUBSTITUTE Functions to count numbers in a cell in Excel

Formula Breakdown

SUM(LEN(C5)-LEN(SUBSTITUTE(C5,{1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,0},)))

  • LEN(C5) → calculates the length of the text in cell C5.
  • SUBSTITUTE(C5,{1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,0},) → replaces all occurrences of the numbers 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, and 0 with an empty string in the text from cell C5.
  • LEN(SUBSTITUTE(C5,{1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,0},)) → calculates the length of the text after the substitution. It counts the number of characters in the text string after removing the numbers.
  • SUM(LEN(C5)-LEN(SUBSTITUTE(C5,{1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,0},))) → calculates the sum of the differences between the length of the original text (before substitution) and the length of the text after substitution. This gives you the total count of numeric characters (0-9) in the original text.
  • SUM(LEN(C5)-LEN(SUBSTITUTE(C5,{1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,0},))) → becomes
    • Output: 3

3. Using VBA Codes to Count Numbers in a Cell in Excel

Here, we will use VBA code to count numbers in a cell in Excel.

  • First, to bring out the VBA Editor window, we will go to the Developer tab >> select Visual Basic.

You can also use the keyboard shortcut ALT+F11 to bring out the VBA Editor window.

Going to Developer tab and selecting Visual Basic

At this point, a VBA Editor window will appear.

  • After that, from the Insert tab >> select Module.

Inserting Module

Then, we will type the following code in the Module.

Function count_numbers_in_cell(pInput As String) As String
Dim x_range As Object
Dim x_mc As Object
Dim x_m As Object
Dim x_output As String
Set x_range = CreateObject("vbscript.regexp")
x_range.Global = True
x_range.Ignorecase = True
x_range.Pattern = "[^\w]"
count_numbers_in_cell = ""
If Not x_range.test(pInput) Then
x_range.Pattern = "(\d+)"
Set x_mc = x_range.Execute(pInput)
For Each x_m In x_mc
x_output = x_output & (x_m.Length & IIf(IsNumeric(x_m), "N", "L"))
Next
count_numbers_in_cell = x_output
End If
End Function

VBA Code to count numbers in a cell

Code Breakdown

Function count_numbers_in_cell(input As String) As String

  • This line defines a VBA function named count_numbers_in_cell that takes a string parameter input and returns a string as the result.

Dim x_range As Object

Dim x_mc As Object

Dim x_m As Object

  • These lines declare the variables x_range, x_mc, and x_m as Object data types.

Dim x_output As String

  • This line declares a variable x_output as a String data type.

Set x_range = CreateObject(“vbscript.regexp”)

  • This line creates a regular expression object using the CreateObject function and assigns it to the variable x_range. The regular expression object is specific to VBScript.

x_range.Global = True

  • This line sets the Global property of the regular expression object to True, which enables global matching (matching all occurrences) rather than just the first match.

x_range.Ignorecase = True

  • This line sets the Ignorecase property of the regular expression object to True, which makes the matching case insensitive.

x_range.Pattern = “[^\w]”

  • This line sets the Pattern property of the regular expression object to the pattern “[^\w]”. This pattern matches any character that is not a word character (alphanumeric or underscore).

count_numbers_in_cell = “”

  • This line initializes the return value of the function to an empty string.

If Not x_range.test(pInput) Then

  • This line uses the Then statement to check if the regular expression pattern does not match the input string input.

x_range.Pattern = “(\d+)”

  • This line sets the Pattern property of the regular expression object to the pattern “(\d+)”. This pattern matches one or more digits.

Set x_mc = x_range.Execute(pInput)

  • This line executes the regular expression pattern on the input string input and stores the matches in the variable xMc.

For Each x_m In x_mc

  • This line starts a. Next loop that iterates over each match stored in the variable xMc, assigning each match to the variable xM.

x_output = x_output & (x_m.Length & IIf(IsNumeric(x_m), “N”, “L”))

  • This line appends the length of the current match (Length) and either “N” or “L” to the xOut string. If the match is numeric (determined by IsNumeric(xM)), “N” is appended; otherwise, “L” is appended.

Next

  • This line indicates the end of the loop.

count_numbers_in_cell = xOut

  • This line assigns the value of the xOut string to the return value of the function count_numbers_in_cell.
  • After that, Save the code >> go back to our worksheet.
  • Now, type the following formula in cell D5.
=count_numbers_in_cell(C5)
  • Then, press ENTER.

Thus, you can see the result in cell D5.

  • Furthermore, we will drag down the formula with the Fill Handle tool.

As a result, you can see the complete Numbers in Cells column.


4. Applying LEN, FORMULATEXT, and SUBSTITUTE Functions

If you want to see how many numbers have been summed up together in a cell, then this method will be helpful for you. Here, we will use LEN, FORMULATEXT, and SUBSTITUTE functions to do the task.

In the following dataset, you can see that we have Employees and their several month’s salary.

  • Now, to find the Total, we will type the following formula in cell G5.
=C5+D5+E5+F5
  • Then, press ENTER.

Thus, you can see the result in cell G5.

  • Furthermore, we will drag down the formula with the Fill Handle tool.

As a result, you can see the complete Total column.

Finding Total Salary

Now, we will find the text form of the formula which we have written in the Total column.

  • To do so, we will type the following formula in cell H5.
=FORMULATEXT(G5)
  • Next, press ENTER.

Therefore, you can see the result in cell H5.

  • Furthermore, we will drag down the formula with the Fill Handle tool.

You can see the complete Formula Text column.

Thus, you can see the formula =C5+D5+E5+F5 contains 4 numbers in it.

Now, we will use a formula containing the LEN, FORMULATEXT, and SUBSTITUTE functions to count the numbers that were summed up in the cells of the Total column.

Using FORMULATEXT Function

  • Type the following formula in cell I5.
=LEN(FORMULATEXT(G5))-LEN(SUBSTITUTE(FORMULATEXT(G5),"+",""))+1
  • Next, press ENTER.

You can see the result in cell I5.

The result is 4, thus, it is proven that the formula of cell G5 adds 4 numbers.

  • Furthermore, we will drag down the formula with the Fill Handle tool.

You can see the complete Numbers column.

Applying LEN and SUBSTITUTE Functions

Formula Breakdown

LEN(FORMULATEXT(G5))-LEN(SUBSTITUTE(FORMULATEXT(G5),”+”,””))+1

  • FORMULATEXT(G5) → returns the formula as text from cell G5.
  • SUBSTITUTE(FORMULATEXT(G5),”+”,””) → replaces all occurrences of the “+” symbol in the formula with an empty string.
  • LEN(SUBSTITUTE(FORMULATEXT(G5),”+”,””)) → calculates the length of the formula after removing the “+” symbols.
  • LEN(FORMULATEXT(G5)) → calculates the length of the original formula in cell G5.
  • LEN(FORMULATEXT(G5)) – LEN(SUBSTITUTE(FORMULATEXT(G5),”+”,””)) → calculates the difference between the lengths of the original formula and the formula with the “+” symbols removed.
  • .LEN(FORMULATEXT(G5))-LEN(SUBSTITUTE(FORMULATEXT(G5),”+”,””))+1 → becomes
    • Output: 4

5. Use of VBA Code to Count Numbers in a Formula

Here, we will use VBA code to count numbers that were summed up in a formula.

Function count_numbers_in_formula(Rng As Range)
x_cell = Split(Rng.Formula, "+")
count_numbers_in_formula = UBound(x_cell) + 1
End Function

Using VBA Code to count numbers in a Formula

Code Breakdown

Function count_numbers_in_formula(Rng As Range)

  • This line defines a function named count_numbers_in_formula that takes a single argument Rng of type Range.

x = Split(Rng.Formula, “+”)

  • This line uses the Split function to split the formula of the Rng range based on the “+” It assigns the resulting array to the variable x. Each element of the array will contain a portion of the formula that was separated by the “+” symbol.

count_numbers_in_formula = UBound(x) + 1

  • This line assigns the count of elements in the x array to the count_numbers_in_formula. The UBound function is used to determine the upper bound of the array x, and adding 1 gives the count of elements. This count represents the number of numbers present in the formula.

End Function

  • This line marks the end of the count_numbers_in_formula
  • After that, we Save the code >> and go back to our worksheet.
  • Now, type the following formula in cell I5.
=count_numbers_in_formula(G5)
  • Then, press ENTER.

Thus, you can see the result in cell I5.

  • Furthermore, we will drag down the formula with the Fill Handle.

As a result, you can see the complete Numbers column.

Read More: How to Find 5 Most Frequent Numbers in Excel


How to Count All Characters in a Cell in Excel?

You can count all characters (Numeric Values, Non-Numeric Values, and Special Characters) in a column in Excel by using the LEN and SUBSTITUTE functions.

Here, we will count all characters in the cells of the Pass Code column.

  • First of all, we will type the following formula in cell D5.
=LEN(SUBSTITUTE(SUBSTITUTE(SUBSTITUTE(SUBSTITUTE(SUBSTITUTE(SUBSTITUTE(SUBSTITUTE(SUBSTITUTE(SUBSTITUTE(SUBSTITUTE(C5,0,""),1,""),2,""),3,""),4,""),5,""),6,""),7,""),8,""),9,""))
  • After that, press ENTER.

Then, you can see the result in cell D5.

  • Moreover, we will drag down the formula with the Fill Handle.

Thus, you can see the complete Characters in a Cell column.

Counting All Characters in a Cell

Formula Breakdown

SUBSTITUTE(C5,0,””)

  • It substitutes 0 from cell C5 with a null value.
    • Output: 86459s

In this way, we will substitute all numeric values from Cell C5.

SUBSTITUTE(SUBSTITUTE(SUBSTITUTE(SUBSTITUTE(SUBSTITUTE(SUBSTITUTE(SUBSTITUTE(SUBSTITUTE(SUBSTITUTE(SUBSTITUTE(C5,0,””),1,””),2,””),3,””),4,””),5,””),6,””),7,””),8,””),9,””)

  • All numeric values will be removed by applying this formula.
    • Output: s

LEN(SUBSTITUTE(SUBSTITUTE(SUBSTITUTE(SUBSTITUTE(SUBSTITUTE(SUBSTITUTE(SUBSTITUTE(SUBSTITUTE(SUBSTITUTE(SUBSTITUTE(C5,0,””),1,””),2,””),3,””),4,””),5,””),6,””),7,””),8,””),9,””))

  • This will count the length after substituting all the numeric values.

LEN(SUBSTITUTE(SUBSTITUTE(SUBSTITUTE(SUBSTITUTE(SUBSTITUTE(SUBSTITUTE(SUBSTITUTE(SUBSTITUTE(SUBSTITUTE(SUBSTITUTE(C5,0,””),1,””),2,””),3,””),4,””),5,””),6,””),7,””),8,””),9,””)) → becomes

  • Output: 1

How to Count Non-Numeric Numbers in a Cell in Excel?

Here, we will count the non-numeric numbers in a cell in Excel. Here, we will do the task two ways. Using formula, and using VBA code.

Using Formula

Here, we will use LEN and SUBSTITUTE functions to count non-numeric numbers in a cell in Excel.

  • First, we will type the following formula in cell D5.
=LEN(SUBSTITUTE(SUBSTITUTE(SUBSTITUTE(SUBSTITUTE(SUBSTITUTE(SUBSTITUTE(SUBSTITUTE(SUBSTITUTE(SUBSTITUTE(SUBSTITUTE(C5,0,""),1,""),2,""),3,""),4,""),5,""),6,""),7,""),8,""),9,""))
  • Then, press ENTER.

You can see the result in cell D5.

  • Moreover, we will drag down the formula with the Fill Handle tool.

As a result, you can see the complete Non-Numeric Characters in a Cell column.

Counting Non-Numeric Characters in Excel

Using VBA

Here, we will use VBA code to count Non-Numeric Characters in an Excel cell.

  • In the beginning, following the steps of Method 3, we brought out the VBA Editor window and inserted a Module.
  • After that, we type the following code in the Module.
Function count_Non_Numeric_Characters(pInput As String) As String
Dim x_range As Object
Dim x_mc As Object
Dim x_m As Object
Dim x_output As String
Set x_range = CreateObject("vbscript.regexp")
x_range.Global = True
x_range.Ignorecase = True
x_range.Pattern = "[^\w]"
count_Non_Numeric_Characters = ""
If Not x_range.test(pInput) Then
x_range.Pattern = "([a-z]+)"
Set x_mc = x_range.Execute(pInput)
For Each x_m In x_mc
x_output = x_output & (x_m.Length & IIf(IsNumeric(x_m), "N", "L"))
Next
count_Non_Numeric_Characters = x_output
End If
End Function

VBA Code to Count Non-Numeric Characters in a Cell

After that, we Save the code >> and go back to our worksheet.

  • Now, type the following formula in cell D5.
=count_Non_Numeric_Characters(C5)
  • Then, press ENTER.

Thus, you can see the result in cell D5.

  • Furthermore, we will drag down the formula with the Fill Handle tool.

As a result, you can see the complete Non-Numeric Characters in a Cell column.


How to Count Number of Cells That Has Numbers Using COUNT Function in Excel?

In the following dataset, you can see that we have some cells that contain numbers and others that contain non-numeric values.

Now using the COUNT function, we will count the number of cells that have numbers in them.

  • First, we type the following formula in cell C16.
=COUNT(B5:C14)

The COUNT function calculates the amount of cells that contain numbers in them.

  • Then, press ENTER.

Thus, you can see the result in cell C16.

counting Number of Cells Containing Numbers


How to Count Cells in a Data Range: 4 Ways

Here, we will show how you can count non-empty cells, only empty cells, cells based on a single criterion, and cells based on multiple criteria in Excel.

We will use COUNTA, COUNTBLANK, COUNTIF, and COUNTIFS functions to do the task.

 Count Non-Empty Cells

Here, we will use the COUNTA function to count all the non-empty cells of a dataset.

  • In the first place, we will type the following formula in cell E16.
=COUNTA(B5:E14)

The COUNTA function calculates the number of non-empty cells in a data range.

  • Then, press ENTER.

Thus, you can see the number of non-empty cells in cell E16.

Applying COUNTA Function


Count Empty Cells in a Dataset

Here, we will use the COUNTBLANK function to count all the empty cells of a dataset.

  • First, we will type the following formula in cell E17.

=COUNTBLANK(B5:E14)

The COUNTBLANK function calculates the number of empty cells in a data range.

  • Then, press ENTER.

Therefore, you can see the number of empty cells in cell E17.

Applying COUNTBLANK Function


Count Cells Based on Single Criterion

Here, we will use the COUNTIF function to count cells based on a single criterion. Here, we set the criterion as Engineer. Thus, we will count the cells that have an Engineer in them.

  • In the beginning, we will type the following formula in cell E18.

=COUNTIF(C5:C14,"Engineer")

The COUNTIF function calculates the number of cells based on a criterion.

  • Then, press ENTER.

Therefore, you can see the number of cells containing the criterion Engineer in cell E18.

Use of COUNTIF Function


Count Cells Based on Multiple Criteria

Here, we will use the COUNTIFS function to count cells based on multiple criteria. Here, we will count the cells that have an Engineer in them, and the cells that contain a value equal to $10,000. Thus, we have 2 criteria.

  • In the beginning, we will type the following formula in cell E19.
=COUNTIFS(C5:C14,"Engineer",E5:E14,"="& "10,000")

The COUNTIFS function calculates the number of cells based on multiple criteria.

  • Then, press ENTER.

Therefore, you can see the result in cell E19.

Use of COUNTIFS Function


How to Count Total Characters in a Data Range in Excel?

Here, we will use the SUMPRODUCT and LEN functions to count the total number of characters in a data range.

  • First of all, we will type the following formula in cell C16.
=SUMPRODUCT(LEN(B5:C14))
  • Then, press ENTER.

Therefore, you can see the total number of characters in cell C16.

Counting Total Characters in a Data Range


Character Restrictions for Excel Cells

Microsoft Excel has a limit on how much text you can put in a cell. If you’re working with Excel worksheets that contain a lot of text, it’s important to be aware of the limitations. Here, we are providing the limitations for your benefits.

  • The most characters a cell can hold is 32,767.
  • In a cell, you can only see up to 1,024 characters. However, the Formula bar can show all 32,767 characters.
  • The longest formula you can have is 8,192 characters in Excel 2007 and newer versions (1,014 in Excel 2003).
  • When you’re working with large amounts of text in Excel, it’s important to keep these limitations in mind, especially when merging or importing data from another source.

These are some helpful tips for counting characters in Excel.


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Download this practice workbook to exercise while you are reading this article.


Conclusion

In this article, we described 5 easy ways to count numbers in a cell in Excel. We extensively dove into all the methods with easy examples.

In addition to this, we describe how you can count all characters in a cell in Excel. Also, we describe how to count non-numeric numbers in a cell, the numbers of cells that contain numbers, and 4 ways to calculate cells in a dataset. Furthermore, we describe how to count total characters in a dataset and character restrictions for Excel cells.

We hope this article is helpful for you. Thank you for reading this article. If you have any queries or suggestions, please let us know in the comment section.


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Alok Paul
Alok Paul

Alok Paul has completed his B.Sc. in Electronics and Telecommunication Engineering from East West University. He has been working on the ExcelDemy project for more than 2 years. He has written 220+ articles and replied to numerous comments. He is experienced in Microsoft Office, especially in Excel. He also led some teams on Excel and VBA content development. He has a keen interest in Advanced Excel, Data analysis, Excel Pivot Table, Charts, and Dashboard. He loves to research... Read Full Bio

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