Count everything in an area

How many entries have been completed?

In the example below, an 'x' has been used to indicate who has shown an interest in a neighbourhood watch scheme. To find out how many people are interested, the COUNT function might be used.

COUNT, like all functions, has a set of brackets that contain the details of the area containing the items to be counted.

The screen shot below shows the result of using COUNT on the column containing the 'x' characters.

The COUNT function only ever counts numbers. Since 'x' is a text character, the result comes out as 0.

To count numbers, text and pretty much anything else, use the COUNTA function. You can think of the A as meaning All or Anything.

The screen shot below shows the result of using COUNTA on the same column.

If dates had been used instead of a text character, the COUNT function would have been fine since properly entered dates are numbers in Excel!

Try it yourself using the examples below...

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