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How to use the COUNTA function in Microsoft Excel

Let's look at some Excel CountA function examples and explore how to use the CountA function as a worksheet function in Microsoft Excel:

COUNTA function


When you enter data in Excel, you sometimes do it with a lot of cells left blank to fill them at a later stage when data is available. When you want to count the number of entries you made in a cell range, then you need a specific function in Excel to count only cells that are filled or Non-Blank. For this purpose, you need to use a special built-in function that is called the COUNTA function.
The COUNTA function in Excel counts the number, text, logical values(True or False), error values and empty text ("") of cells in a range that are not empty. COUNTA function ignores empty cells. In other words, the function counts the cells that are not empty or non-blank.
The COUNTA function is a built-in function in Excel that is categorized as a Statistical Function.
See the NOTE section below for more information.


Count the number of non-blank cells.

Return value

A number representing non-blank cells.

What Does It Do ?

  • This function counts the number of numeric or text entries in a list.
  • It can be used either horizontally or vertically.
  • It function ignores blank cells.
  • Please keep in mind that Excel's COUNTA function counts cells containing any type of data including:
  1. Numbers
  2. Dates / times
  3. Text values
  4. logical values of TRUE and FALSE
  5. Error values like #VALUE or #N/A
  6. Empty text strings ("")


CountA function has two syntax and hence they can be written in two different ways:

=COUNTA(value1,value2, ...) or

Parameters or Arguments

Value: A numeric value or reference.
Range: A group of cells.


No special formatting is needed.

Usage notes

The COUNTA function counts cells that contain numbers, text, logical values, error values, and empty text returned in formulas (""). COUNTA does not count cells that are completely empty. For example, to count non-empty cells in the range A1:A25:


Invisible characters

Be aware that COUNTA will also count cells that visually look empty, but actually contain invisible characters or an empty string ("") returned by a formula. You can check which cells are blank using Go To > Special > Blanks:
  1. Select a range
  2. Open Go To dialog (Control + G)
  3. Press "Special"
  4. Select "Blanks"


  • We can enter up to 255 value arguments if we are using MS Excel 2007 or later. Earlier versions can handle 30 arguments only.
  • COUNTA function to counts cells contain that numbers, text, logical values, error values, and empty text ("").
  • COUNTA will also count hard-coded values. For example, =COUNTA("A",01,”Josh”,2.5,3,"") returns 6.
  • To count numeric values only, use the COUNT function.
  • If you want to count only cells that meet certain criteria, use the COUNTIF function or the COUNTIFS function.
  • The logical values TRUE and FALSE are counted.
  • Blank cells are not counted.

Excel Count Function Examples

The following spreadsheet shows six simple examples of the Excel Count function:

COUNTA function

The above examples show that each argument to the Min function can be supplied as a single value or cell reference, or as an array of values or cells.

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