In Microsoft Excel, the COUNTA function is generally used to count the cells containing the non-empty character(s) only. In this article, youâ€™ll get to learn how you use this COUNTA function efficiently in Excel.

The above screenshot is an overview of the article, representing an application of the **COUNTA** function in Excel. Youâ€™ll learn more about the dataset as well as the methods to use the COUNTA function properly in the following sections of this article.

**Table of Contents**hide

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**Introduction to the COUNTA Function**

**Function Objective:**

*Counts the number of cells in a range that is not empty.*

**Syntax:**

*=COUNTA(value1, [value2],â€¦)*

**Arguments Explanation:**

Argument | Required/Optional | Explanation. |
---|---|---|

value1 |
Required |
Any value or a range of cells. |

[value2] |
Optional |
2nd value or the range of cells. |

**Return Parameter:**

*Total counts of the cells in a numeric value.*

**3 Simple Examples of Using COUNTA Function in Excel**

**1. Using COUNTA Function for a Single Range of Cells in Excel**

Since we know now, the **COUNTA** function counts only non-empty cells, so weâ€™ll have a look at how this function works for the following chart containing several random data. There are text values, number strings, error values, logical values, blank cells, wildcards, and spaces in the chart. And all of them are lying in a single column or we can call it a single range of cells as no other column is going to be considered here right now.

**ðŸ“Œ**** Steps:**

âž¤ Select the output **Cell B16** and type:

`=COUNTA(B5:B13)`

âž¤ Press **Enter** and youâ€™ll find the total count of the non-blank cells as 8.

But there are a total of 9 cells under the **List 1** header in the data chart and if you notice, **B8 and B12** are blank cells. So the resultant count should have been 7 instead of 8, right? The fact is, **Cell B12** seems to be blank but there is a space character and thatâ€™s why the cell will not be counted as empty. **COUNTA** function only excludes a cell where no single character is found.

**2. Using COUNTA for Multiple Range of Cells in Excel**

Now the following table has two columns of random data. The blank and space-contained cells have been highlighted now for the convenience of understanding the characters in the cells. As weâ€™re now dealing with two different columns, we can input these two different ranges of cells in the **COUNTA** function. Or, we can even select the entire range of cells containing two adjacent columns and input it to the first argument only.

To count non-empty cells from the following table containing **List 1 and List 2**, now have a glance at the simple steps.

**ðŸ“Œ**** Steps:**

âž¤ Select **Cell B16** and type any of the two from the following formulae:

`=COUNTA(B5:C13)`

**Or,**

`=COUNTA(B5:B13, C5:C13)`

âž¤ Press** Enter **and youâ€™ll find the total count as 16. The function has excluded the blank **Cells B8 and C9** here while counting.

**3. Use of COUNTA Function with Mixed Data Inputs in the Arguments**

Not only the cells, but we can also manually input different types of values or data in the arguments of the **COUNTA** function and all of them will be counted as non-empty strings or values. In the following dataset, weâ€™ve used the table mentioned in the last section but now weâ€™ll include some other random data or values manually in the **COUNTA** function and see how it works.

**ðŸ“Œ**** Steps:**

âž¤ In the output **Cell B16**, we can type:

`=COUNTA(B5:B13,C5:C13,"Saimon","","TRUE",46)`

âž¤ Press **Enter** and the function will return 20 since weâ€™ve added 4 more random data inside the **COUNTA** function.

**Difference between COUNT and COUNTA Functions in Excel**

The basic difference between the **COUNT and COUNTA** functions is- **COUNT** function counts only numbers and excludes all other values as well as empty strings whereas the **COUNTA **function counts only non-empty cells. The picture below is an example of how these two functions work differently in the output **Cells B16 and B19.**

**An Alternative to COUNTA Function to Count Cells That are Not Empty**

There is a suitable alternative to the **COUNTA** and that is the **COUNTIF **function. **COUNTIF** function will let you define criteria for the range of cells and so youâ€™ll have the room for instructing the function to exclude empty cells while counting.

**ðŸ“Œ**** Steps:**

âž¤ In the output **Cell B16**, the related formula with **COUNTIF **function to exclude all empty cells should be:

`=COUNTIF(B5:B13,"<>")`

âž¤ After pressing **Enter**, youâ€™ll get the return value as 8.

**ðŸ’¡**** Things to Keep in Mind**

ðŸ”º Youâ€™re allowed to input up to 255 arguments in the **COUNTA** function.

ðŸ”º If the count of the cells seems confusing or wrong, then please check if any of your empty cells contain a space character as the COUNTA function includes a cell containing space characters while counting.

ðŸ”º While inputting text data as the argument, make sure youâ€™re using **Double-Quotes (â€œ â€œ) **outside the text string.

ðŸ”º If you need to count a range of cells containing anything or not, then you have to use **COUNTA() + COUNTBLANK()** functions together.

ðŸ”º If you need to count cells containing numeric values only, then go for **COUNT** function only.

ðŸ”º To count the blank cells only, use the **COUNTBLANK** function.

**Concluding Words**

I hope all of the methods mentioned above to use the** COUNTA **function will now prompt you to apply them in your Excel spreadsheets more effectively. If you have any questions or feedback, please let me know in the comment section. Or you can check out our other articles related to Excel functions on this website.

## Further Readings

- How to Use COUNTIFS Function in Excel (4 Examples)
- The Different Ways of Counting in Excel
- How to use MAX function in Excel (6 Examples)
- How to use AVERAGE function in Excel (5 Examples)
- How to Use SMALL Function in Excel (4 Common Examples)
- How to Use MIN Function in Excel (5 Relevant Examples)
- How to Use LARGE Function in Excel (6 Easy Examples)
- How to Use RANK Function in Excel (With 5 Examples)
- How to calculate Average, Median, & Mode in Excel