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How to Write a COUNT Function in Excel

Jason Morrell

by Jason Morrell 
March 13, 2023

The COUNT function in Excel counts how many numeric values there are in 2 or more given cells or cell ranges. In this post you'll discover two ways to create a COUNT formula with examples that you can dissect.

1.  Example 1: How to write a basic COUNT function in Excel

Consider this simple data:

Excel base data

To extract the smallest value from this range, regardless of the order in which they may, or may not, be sorted, using a COUNTfunction:

1.  Type =COUNT(

2.  Select cells A1:A5 with the mouse (you can type the cell range but then you may get human error)

3.  Type the closing bracket and press Enter.

A basic COUNT function in Excel

This calculates how many numeric cells there are in the range, 5.

The result using the COUNT function in Excel

2. Anatomy of a COUNT function

  • Every formula starts with '='. 
  • COUNT tells Excel what to do with the data, i.e. find the number of numeric values.
  • The cells or cell ranges inside the brackets tell Excel what to check.

Here are some examples:

=COUNT(A1:A5, C1:C5)

3. Example 2: How to generate a COUNT using AutoSum

The AutoSUM button is the beginner's best friend. You'll find it on the Home ribbon.

1.  Select the range of cells you wish to analyse, or select the blank cell that will contain the result.

2.  Click the AutoSUM button then choose COUNT NUMBERS.

Choosing COUNT from the AutoSUM button

3.  Excel writes the COUNT function for you. Press Enter to lock it in.

4. Example 3: Data that does not get counted

Text, symbols and blank cells do not get counted. So if your data looked like this, the COUNT function returns 4.

COUNT function example 2

... and if the data looks like this, the COUNT function returns 3.

COUNT function example 3

5. What next?

I hope you found plenty of value in this post. I'd love to hear your biggest takeaway in the comments below together with any questions you may have.

Have a fantastic day.

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About Jason Morrell

About the author

Jason Morrell

Jason Morrell is a professional trainer, consultant and course creator who lives on the glorious Gold Coast in Queensland, Australia.

He helps people of all levels unleash and leverage the power contained within Microsoft Office by delivering training, troubleshooting services and taking on client projects. He loves to simplify tricky concepts and provide helpful, proven, actionable advice that can be implemented for quick results.

Purely for amusement he sometimes talks about himself in the third person.


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