The Excel COUNTA function is a statistics formula that returns the number of cells in a range containing numbers, text, logical values, error values, and empty text (""). In this guide, we’re going to show you how to use the Excel COUNTA function and also go over some tips and error handling methods.

Supported versions

  • All Excel versions

Excel COUNTA Function Syntax

=COUNTA(value1, [value2], ...)



The values you want to count.

[value2], …

Optional. Additional arguments representing the values that you want to count, up to a maximum of 255 arguments.


Single argument

formula demonstrates a sample use case for the COUNTA function. The formula returns 5 based on values in the 6 cells. Although, only 4 cells appear to have a value, the cell C5 is also counted as it contains an empty string ("").

Multiple arguments

formula exemplifies using multiple arguments. Excel allows up to 255 arguments.

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  • The COUNTA function counts empty text ("") values.
  • The COUNTA will also count cells that look empty, but actually contain invisible characters such as new line characters. If you are suspecting a cell may include this type of characters, you can find them using the Go To feature
  • If you want to count only cells that contain numbers, use COUNT.
  • If you want to count only cells that meet a certain criteria, use the COUNTIF or COUNTIFS functions.