Counting Text Columns like Employee Names in Excel

Excel is great and summing things up. And then count the number of rows easily. You can watch the step by step video on how to use simple functions in Excel.

In fact, most versions of Excel can even show the SUM, COUNT of a block of cells, in the bottom status bar automatically.

However, there is an issue, if you want to count number of employees, or number of departments, or number of students…

Text values, by default can not be summed by the SUM function, and can not be COUNTED by the Count function in Excel

That’s because Excel is good at adding and counting numbers, and not Text. If you try, you’ll get a ZERO.

=COUNT(Employee_Names) will result in a ZERO answer.

Fortunately, the workaround is pretty simple, straight forward and easy to use in Microsoft Excel. And it counts text values with ease.

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Instead of using the COUNT function, you can use the COUNTA function of Excel. COUNTA is to count Textual data.

So if you have characters, alphabets and number combinations (like employee numbers),  you can count such text items using the COUNTA function of Excel.

This COUNTA Function works in all the versions of Excel – from Excel 2007, Excel 2010, Excel 2013, Excel 2016, Excel 2019, and even Microsoft Office Excel 365 (the cloud version.)

So to count the number of employees, you only need to say =COUNTA(A5:A15).

And this nifty function will count the number of employees promptly. COUNTA is to count Alphanumeric values – text, strings… or even numbers.

Try it out, and let me know if this helps you… 🙂

You may find these resources useful:

Vinai Prakash
Founder of ExcelChamp.Net

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