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Excel doesn’t have a dedicated function for counting words in a cell. However, with a little ingenuity, you can create such a formula using the SUBSTITUTE and LEN functions, with help from TRIM, as shown in the example. At a high level, this formula uses the LEN function to count the number of characters in the cell, with and without spaces, then uses the difference to figure out the word count. This works, because word count is equal to the number of spaces + 1, so long as there is one space between each word.
The first part of the formula counts the characters in cell B5, after removing extra space:
// normalize space, count characters
Inside LEN, the TRIM function first removes any extra spaces between words, or at the beginning or end of the text. This is important, since any extra spaces will throw off the word count. In this case, there are no extra space characters, so TRIM returns the original text directly to the LEN function, which returns 30:
"All Quiet on the Western Front"
// returns 30
At this point, we have:
Next, we use the SUBSTITUTE function to remove all space characters from the text:
// strip all space
Notice SUBSTITUTE is configured to look for a space character (” “), and replace with an empty string (“”). By default, SUBSTITUTE will replace all spaces. The result is delivered directly to the LEN function, which returns the count:
// returns 25
LEN returns 25, the number of characters remaining after all space has been removed. We can now simplify the formula to:
// returns 6
which returns 6 as a final result, the number of words in cell B5.
Dealing with blank cells
The formula in the example will return 1 even if a cell is empty, or contains only space. This happens because we are adding 1 unconditionally, after counting space characters between words. To guard against this problem, you can adapt the formula as shown below:
Notice we've replaced 1 with this expression:
This code first trims B5, then checks the length. If B5 contains text, LEN returns a positive number, and the expression returns TRUE. If B5 is empty, or contains only space, TRIM returns an empty string ("") to LEN. In that case, LEN returns zero (0) and the expression returns FALSE. The trick is that TRUE and FALSE evaluate to 1 and zero, respectively, when involved in any math operation. As a result, the expression only adds 1 when there is text in B5. Otherwise, it adds zero (0). This logic could also be written with the IF function statement like this:
and the result would be the same. The expression above is simply more compact.
How to Count Total Number of Words in a Cell of Excel?
The steps to count the total number of words in a cell of Excel are listed as follows:
Step 1: Select the cell in the Excel sheet where you want the result to appear.
Step 2: For counting the number of words in cell A1, enter the formula shown in the following image.
To count the number of words in a range of cells, apply the equation that counts the words in a cell and implant it either inside the SUM or the SUMPRODUCT function.
The formula to count words of a particular range is “=LEN(TRIM(cell))- LEN(SUBSTITUTE(cell,” “,””))+1.”
Step 1: Select the range of data whose words you wish to count.
Step 2: Enter the formula in the cell where you want the result to display as shown in the succeeding image.
Step 4: Drag the fill handle to all cells to get the word count of each cell.
To count the number of times a specific word appears in a range of cells, we utilize a comparative methodology. We count the explicit words in a cell and consolidate it with the SUM or SUMPRODUCT function.
Step 1: Select the cell and enter the formula “=(LEN(cell)-LEN(SUBSTITUTE(cell,word,””)))/LEN(word)” as shown in the following image.
The result in cell A14 is 4.
The formula for counting the number of words in Excel is:
Let us understand the working of this formula.
To begin with, we utilize the SUBSTITUTE function to evacuate and displace all spaces in the cell with a vacant content string (“). The LEN function restores the length of the string without spaces.
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Further, we utilize the TRIM function to remove extra spaces in a cell. A worksheet may contain a lot of imperceptible spaces. Such coincidental occurrence might be towards the start or end of the text (leading and trailing spaces). Since extra spaces return an incorrect word count, the TRIM function is used before computing the length of the string.
Characteristics of the Word Count Formula
The features of the word count formula are listed as follows:
It is not an in-built formula of Excel and needs to be entered manually.
It is not case sensitive which implies that any type of alphabetical letters can be used.
It is essential to place the $ sign to fix the cell reference while copying the formula.
It works well if the cell, for which the formula is being used, is checked beforehand.
It requires the correct range to be specified at the time of usage.
Frequently Asked Questions
#1 – How to count the number of times a single character appears in a cell?
The formula to count the occurrence of a single character in a cell is stated as follows:
The “cell_ref” stands for cell reference. The letter “a” stands for the character that the user wants to count.
#2 – How to count the number of times a single character appears in a range of cells?
The formula to count the occurrence of a single character in a range of cells is stated as follows:
The “range” stands for the range of cells to which the formula is applied. The letter “a” stands for the character that the user wants to count.
#3 – How to count the number of times a specific word appears in a row or a column?
The steps to count the number of times a particular word appears in a row or a column are listed as follows:
If the column is named “NamesColumn,” the cells in this column will use “NamesColumn” for reference.
Apply the formula “=COUNTIF(NamesColumn,”Jack”)” to count the number of times “Jack” appears in the “NamesColumn.”
Note: Every time a new name is added to a cell of “NamesColumn,” the result of the formula will automatically update.
The formula to count words of a particular range is “=LEN(TRIM(cell))-LEN(SUBSTITUTE(cell,” “,””))+1.”
The word count formula is combined with the SUM or SUMPRODUCT function to handle arrays.
The SUBSTITUTE function replaces all the spaces of the cell with a vacant content string (“).
The LEN function restores the length of the string without spaces.
The TRIM function removes the leading and trailing spaces found at the beginning or at the end of the text.
The number of words in a cell is equivalent to the number of spaces plus 1.
This has been a guide to Word Count in Excel. Here we discuss how to count the total number of words in a cell and a range of cells using Excel formulas (LEN, SUBSTITUTE, TRIM) along with practical examples and a downloadable Excel template. You may learn more about Excel from the following articles –
First, let’s count the total number of words in a cell or range of cells. Finally, let’s count how many times a specific word occurs in a cell or range of cells.
1. The TRIM function below returns a string with only regular spaces.
2. To get the length of this string, add the LEN function.
3. The SUBSTITUTE function below returns a string without spaces.
4. To get the length of this string, add the LEN function.
5. To count the total number of words in cell A1, subtract the length of the string without spaces (formula from step 4) from the length of the string with only regular spaces (formula from step 2) and add 1.
Conclusion: to count the total number of words in a cell, simply count the number of spaces and add 1 to this result. 1 space means 2 words, 2 spaces means 3 words, etc.
6. To count the total number of words in the range A1:A2, add the SUMPRODUCT function and replace A1 with A1:A2.
Note: visit our page about the SUMPRODUCT function to learn more about this Excel function.
Finally, let’s count how many times a specific word occurs in a cell or range of cells. This trick is pretty cool.
7. The LEN function below returns the length of the original text in cell A1.
8. The SUBSTITUTE function below returns the string without the word “dog”.
9. The LEN function below returns the length of this string.
10. Subtract the length of the string without the word “dog” (formula from step 9) from the length of the original text in cell A1 (formula from step 7).
Conclusion: after removing the word “dog” from the original text, 12 characters are missing.
11. We know the length of the word “dog” (3), so the word “dog” occurs 12 / 3 = 4 times in cell A1.
12. To count how many times the word “dog” occurs in the range A1:A2, add the SUMPRODUCT function and replace A1 with A1:A2.
13. Use the COUNTIF function in Excel to count the number of cells that contain a specific word.
Note: an asterisk (*) matches a series of zero or more characters. Visit our page about the COUNTIF function to learn more about this great Excel function.
Insert Table Formulas in Word: Overview
You can insert table formulas in Word tables to perform simple mathematical functions on data. To insert table formulas in Word that add, subtract, multiply, and divide numbers in the table cells, you insert formulas into cells where you want to show the answers to the mathematical operations performed by the formulas.
The Parts of Table Formulas in Word
When you insert table formulas in Word, you insert a field that performs calculations on values in other table cells. Formulas always start with an equal sign (=). They often refer to the cell addresses from which they gather the data for their calculations. These cell addresses can be linked together with standard mathematical operators. These include the plus sign (+), minus sign (-), multiplication sign (*), and division sign (/), among others. You can also perform functions, like SUM, on a cell range in a table. So, a formula might be expressed “=SUM(Above),” which adds the values of the cells above the cell into which you inserted this formula.
A cell address is a way of referring to a cell. A cell address is the relative location of a cell in a table. Imagine there are letters at the top of each column, starting with “A” at the far left and then continuing to increase one letter at a time to the right. In addition, imagine each row has a number assigned to it. The topmost row is row “1.” The row numbering then continues downward, increasing by one for each row. The cell address is the column letter, followed by the row number. For example, the top left cell is always cell A1. B1 is always to the right of A1. Here is a table with the cell addresses entered into the corresponding cells to help you see the cell address naming convention.
Instead of showing the formula itself in the cell, the cell shows the to the formula. Why? Because when you insert table formulas in Word in a cell, Word knows it should show the answer to the formula, not the formula itself. Formulas display their results by default, not their actual contents.
How to Insert Table Formulas in Word
When the “Formula” dialog box first opens, Word tries to guess the formula you want. For example, if you insert table formulas in Word in a cell at the end of a column of continuous numbers, Word assumes you want to add the cell values in the column above the cell. Therefore, Word enters the formula =SUM(Above) as the default formula in the “Formula” dialog box.
After entering the formula into the “Formula:” field, you can then use the “Number format:” drop-down to select a numeric pattern. This helps show the result in a specific numeric format.
In Word, you can use the terms “LEFT,” “RIGHT,” “ABOVE,” and “BELOW” to refer to adjacent cells in the row or column to the left of, to the right of, above, or below the cell within which you insert table formulas in Word. This is a convenient way of selecting the cell range for the function. You can also enter a cell range by typing the cell address of the upper-left cell in the cell range, followed by a colon symbol (:), then followed by the cell address of the lower-right cell in the range. For example, you could also type =SUM(A1:A4) into the “Formula:” field to add the contents of cells A1 through A4.
The word SUM is a formula function. If want to perform one mathematical operation on a range of cells, you can use functions like SUM, AVERAGE, MAX, and MIN when you insert table formulas in Word, instead of individually writing the cell addresses and mathematical operators. Word provides many standard functions in the “Paste function:” drop-down. Selecting any function from the list of functions in the drop-down menu adds it to the formula in the “Formula:” field.
Insert Table Formulas in Word: Instructions
Instructions on How to Insert Table Formulas in Word
Optionally, to select a function to add to the formula shown in the “Formula:” field, use the “Paste function:” drop-down.
Optionally, to format the display of the numeric formula’s result, use the “Number format:” drop-down.
Insert Table Formulas in Word: Video Lesson
The following video lesson, titled ” Inserting Table Formulas,” shows how to insert table formulas in Word. It is from our complete Word tutorial, titled ” Mastering Word Made Easy v.2019 and 365.”
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