You can easily count the number of characters inside a cell using the LEN function. This function can be especially useful when identifying data types or creating validation rules.




  1. Begin by typing in =LEN(
  2. Select or type in the range reference that contains the text (i.e. C3)
  3. Enter ) to close the function and press Enter to complete the formula


The LEN function returns the character count in the argument. All special characters such as spaces, new line characters, minus signs in negative numbers, decimal separators etc. will be included in the count output.




Make sure that LEN function evaluates the raw value of a cell. It will ignore all formatting like currency signs, placeholder decimal zeroes, or full month names. For example, if the value of C7 is1500, and it’s formatted as $1,500.00, the LEN function will return 4 for  the 4 characters in 1500.