How to count words in a cell using excel functions

I was doing some weird analysis on corporate mission statements and I had to count the number of words in each cell. That is when I realized there is no formula to calculate the number of words in a cell, I was too lazy to write an UDF for that, so I figured out a nearly perfect way to calculate no. of words in a cell using existing formulas.

If you want to calculate the no. of words in cell a1, then use the formula:
=len(a1)-len(substitute(a1," ",""))+1

What this does is, it calculates the number of spaces in a cell and adds 1 to it, thus almost finding the number of words in a cell. I say almost because, if a cell has “this blog rocks,really!”, this formula will calculate the words as 3, where as there are 4 words in there 🙂

But that is for you to think 😉

Also: Concatenate a bunch of cells using simple formula, Generate tag clouds in excel using vba, Master your IFs and BUTs


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My name is Chandoo. Thanks for dropping by. My mission is to make you awesome in Excel & your work. I live in Wellington, New Zealand. When I am not F9ing my formulas, I cycle, cook or play lego with my kids. Know more about me.

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16 Responses to “How to count words in a cell using excel functions”

  1. [...] see: How to count words in an excel cell, Fill only weekdays when auto-filling dates, Find unique items in a list Tags: data, excel, [...]

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  5. Paddydive says:

    That was genious...

  6. Hui... says:

    You can extend the formula to include ,'s and ;'s etc by:
    =LEN(A1)-LEN( SUBSTITUTE( SUBSTITUTE( SUBSTITUTE( SUBSTITUTE(A1, " ",""), ",", ""), ";", ""), " ", "")) +1

  7. Chanda Kaushik says:

    This can also be achieved using a UDF. That would be much handy. I tried counting words in a cell using the following UDF.

    Function CountWords(txt)
    x = Len(Trim(txt)) - Len(Replace(Trim(txt), " ", "")) + 1
    CountWords = x
    End Function

  8. Rahim says:

    =LEN(A1)-LEN(SUBSTITUTE(SUBSTITUTE(A1," ",""),",",""))+1

  9. ruwanal says:

    every time i use it, it gives 1

  10. […] give the credit of my learning about this formula, I must ask you to visit MS Excel expert’s website as it can help you to learn even more formulas that you may need for another purpose […]

  11. Anthony Delon says:

    Nice guide

  12. DermaGlo says:

    Excellent, what a web site it is! This weblog presents helpful
    information to us, keep it up.

  13. shravan says:

    how to remove text in cell
    for eg. in cell text is (xxccjjkk1234576hdjdj) & require only numbers 1234576.

  14. […] I must thank to from where I learn how to count words in a cell using excel functions and also many other excel tricks like […]

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