COUNT function

This article describes the formula syntax and usage of the COUNT function (function: A prewritten formula that takes a value or values, performs an operation, and returns a value or values. Use functions to simplify and shorten formulas on a worksheet, especially those that perform lengthy or complex calculations.) in Microsoft Office Excel.


The COUNT function counts the number of cells that contain numbers, and counts numbers within the list of arguments. Use the COUNT function to get the number of entries in a number field that is in a range or array of numbers. For example, you can enter the following formula to count the numbers in the range A1:A20:


In this example, if five of the cells in the range contain numbers, the result is 5.


COUNT(value1, [value2],...)

The COUNT function syntax has these arguments (argument: A value that provides information to an action, an event, a method, a property, a function, or a procedure.):

  • value1    Required. The first item, cell reference, or range within which you want to count numbers.
  • value2, ...    Optional. Up to 255 additional items, cell references, or ranges within which you want to count numbers.

 Note   The arguments can contain or refer to a variety of different types of data, but only numbers are counted.


  • Arguments that are numbers, dates, or a text representation of numbers (for example, a number enclosed in quotation marks, such as "1") are counted.
  • Logical values and text representations of numbers that you type directly into the list of arguments are counted.
  • Arguments that are error values or text that cannot be translated into numbers are not counted.
  • If an argument is an array or reference, only numbers in that array or reference are counted. Empty cells, logical values, text, or error values in the array or reference are not counted.
  • If you want to count logical values, text, or error values, use the COUNTA function.
  • If you want to count only numbers that meet certain criteria, use the COUNTIF function or the COUNTIFS function.


The example may be easier to understand if you copy it to a blank worksheet.

ShowHow do I copy an example?

  1. Select the example in this article. If you are copying the example in Excel Web App, copy and paste one cell at a time.Important Do not select the row or column headers.

Selecting an example from Help

Selecting an example from Help

  1. Press CTRL+C.
  2. Create a blank workbook or worksheet.
  3. In the worksheet, select cell A1, and press CTRL+V. If you are working in Excel Web App, repeat copying and pasting for each cell in the example.

Important For the example to work properly, you must paste it into cell A1 of the worksheet.

  1. To switch between viewing the results and viewing the formulas that return the results, press CTRL+` (grave accent), or on the Formulas tab, in the Formula Auditing group, click the Show Formulas button.

After you copy the example to a blank worksheet, you can adapt it to suit your needs.




Formula Description Result
=COUNT(A2:A8) Counts the number of cells that contain numbers in cells A2 through A8. 3
=COUNT(A5:A8) Counts the number of cells that contain numbers in cells A5 through A8. 2
=COUNT(A2:A8,2) Counts the number of cells that contain numbers in cells A2 through A8, and the value 2 4
Applies to:
Excel 2007