Skip to main content

What Are Count Functions in Excel?

Learn about count functions in this Howcast Excel tutorial with expert Shir Moscovitz.


Hi, my name is Shir and I'm the founder and CEO of where we focus on converting the existing data from your business into massive savings and extraordinary profits. Today we're going to learn the basics of Excel. Let's get started.

So now we're going to talk about the COUNT Function in EXCEL. There are actually a few variations. So let's go through each one and see what they do.

First one is a regular COUNT. So let's see what happens if I do the "=" COUNT, open parentheses "(" and I choose the values that I want to COUNT and then close parentheses ")." What it does is it tells me how many of these CELLS have a number in it. If I change any one of these to be letters, it doesn't COUNT it. The COUNT changes. So this only works with numbers.

If I want to make it work for numbers and letters, I'll do the COUNTA which is as you can see here counts the number of CELLS in a range that are not empty. So it doesn't matter if it's a number or a letter. SO we'll do the same thing and this time it doesn't matter what value it is as long as there's something in it. This went down because it's only numbers and this stayed the same.

Let's go one step further and do COUNTIF which is not only counting the CELLS but also adds a certain criteria. So let's say we want to do, we want to see how many of these, how many "Y"s are, or how many people are registered in all of here. So choose the range, we hit comma and the criteria is going to be a "Y." Notice the quotes because it's TEXT. I'm going to close it and it tells me exactly how many "Y"s there are. If I change one of these "N"s to be a "Y", it automatically updates for me. Pretty useful to know.

One last thing is the COUNTBLANK. So what do you do, how do you COUNT CELLS that are specifically empty? Let's say that you have a ROW, a COLUMN of data and you want to see how many are missing that need to be filled in. You do that and you see that there's two that are missing.

And if you want to know more, simply click on the INSERT Function. Type in COUNT. Notice that there's a lot to choose from. There's a few DCOUNTs which are for databases. I gave you the basic four: COUNT, COUNTIF, COUNTA and COUNTBLANK as well. If you are confused about any one of those, you can click on the Help on this function and it will bring you to the article which has lots more information. And those are some of the basic COUNT Functions in EXCEL.

Popular Categories