LEN returns the number of characters in a text string.
LENB returns the number of bytes used to represent the characters in a text string.
Important LEN is intended for use with languages that use the single-byte character set (SBCS), whereas LENB is intended for use with languages that use the double-byte character set (DBCS). The default language setting on your computer affects the return value in the following way:
- LEN always counts each character, whether single-byte or double-byte, as 1, no matter what the default language setting is.
- LENB counts each double-byte character as 2 when you have enabled the editing of a language that supports DBCS and then set it as the default language. Otherwise, LENB counts each character as 1.
The languages that support DBCS include Japanese, Chinese (Simplified), Chinese (Traditional), and Korean.
Text is the text whose length you want to find. Spaces count as characters.
Example 1: LEN
The example may be easier to understand if you copy it to a blank worksheet.
How to copy an example
- Create a blank workbook or worksheet.
- Select the example in the Help topic.
Note Do not select the row or column headers.
Selecting an example from Help
- Press CTRL+C.
- In the worksheet, select cell A1, and press CTRL+V.
- 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.
||Length of the first string (11)
||Length of the second string (0)
||Length of the third string, which includes 5 spaces (8)
Example 2: LENB (with your computer set to a default language that supports DBCS)
In the following example:
- LENB returns 6, because each character is counted as 2.
- LEN returns 3, because each character is counted as 1. LEN returns 3 no matter what the default language setting is on your computer.
=LENB(" ") equals 6
=LEN(" ") equals 3