This article describes the formula syntax and usage of the LEN and LENB 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 Excel.
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 LENB counts 2 bytes per character only when a DBCS language is set as the default language. Otherwise LENB behaves the same as LEN, counting 1 byte per character.
The languages that support DBCS include Japanese, Chinese (Simplified), Chinese (Traditional), and Korean.
The xxx function syntax has the following arguments (argument: A value that provides information to an action, an event, a method, a property, a function, or a procedure.):
- Text Required. 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 do I copy an example?
- Select the example in this article. If you are copying the example in Excel Online, copy and paste one cell at a time.
Important: Do not select the row or column headers.
Selecting an example from Help
- Press CTRL+C.
- Create a blank workbook or worksheet.
- In the worksheet, select cell A1, and press CTRL+V. If you are working in Excel Online, 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.
- 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.
||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.
=LENB(" ") equals 6
=LEN(" ") equals 3