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Google Sheets Formulas

COUNTA Function in Google Sheets: Explained

In this article, you will learn what the COUNTA function is and how to use it in Google Sheets. The COUNTA formula is beneficial when you want to count the number of cells containing all types of values - texts, dates, times, and numbers. 

How to use the COUNTA formula in Google Sheets

  1. Type “=COUNTA” or go to “Insert”“Function” (or directly navigate to the “Functions” icon)  “Statistical”“COUNTA”.
  2. Select a range or an array containing all values, the number of which you want to count
  3. Press the “Enter” key.
How to insert the COUNTA function from the menu bar in Google Sheets 

The general syntax is as follows:

=COUNTA(value1, [value2, …])

Value1: This argument should be a cell, range, or array.

Value2: If you need to select other ranges, you can add as value2, value3, ….

Note

  1. The COUNTA function counts the number of all kinds of values, even when a specific value appears more than once in a data set. Even whitespace in a cell is considered a value and counted by the formula.
  2. The function does not count the number of entirely blank cells, though it counts the number of cells containing only whitespace(s).
  3. Ensure all values whose numbers you count don’t have hidden text such as ““, or an apostrophe. For example, if a cell input is “‘7”, it looks like “7”.

Look at the example in the following screenshot. The eight cells are in the formula range, and the COUNTA formula returns seven. This is because it doesn’t count the number of a completely blank cell.

How the COUNTA function works in Google Sheets with an example

What is the difference between the COUNT and COUNTA functions in Google Sheets?

COUNTA stands for “count all”.The difference is that the COUNTA counts everything, including numbers, texts, dates, and times whereas the COUNT counts only numeric values, including dates and times. They are in common that they don’t count the number of blank cells.

The following picture shows the comparison of the two formulas. Both functions refer to the range of the eight cells as “value”. The check marks on the right hand of the table mean the formulas consider them countable values.

The comparison of the COUNT and COUNTA functions in Google Sheets

If you want to count the number of entirely blank cells, you can use the COUNTBLANK function.

What is the difference between the COUNTIF and COUNTA functions?

The COUNTIF function is the formula that helps you count the number of values that meet a particular criterion. If you have more than one condition, you need to use the COUNTIFS function. On the other hand, you can’t set up requirements for the COUNTA function.

Other formulas related to mathematics and statistics

If you don’t get the right answer to your question in this article or you have other questions related to mathematics or statistics, you may find the answers in the following articles.

Go to the following articles if you want to learn basic formulas in Google Sheets.

How to Do Math in Google Sheets for Beginners

How to Sum Numbers in Google Sheets

How to Use SUMPRODUCT Formula in Google Sheets

How to Use MAX Function in Google Sheets

How to Use MIN Function in Google Sheets

How to Use MEDIAN Function in Google Sheets

How to Use AVERAGE Formula in Google Sheets

How to Use MODE Function in Google Sheets

MOD Function in Google Sheets: Explained

Navigate to the pages below if you need to learn how to sum, count, or average numbers with a condition or multiple conditions. 

How to Use SUMIF Function in Google Sheets - sum up the numbers that meet a criterion

SUMIFS Function in Google Sheets: Explained - sum up the numbers that meet multiple criteria

How to Use COUNTIF Function in Google Sheets - count the number of cells that meet a requirement

How to Use COUNTIFS function in Google Sheets - count the number of cells that meet multiple requirements

AVERAGEIF Function in Google Sheets: Explained - average the figures that meet a standard

AVERAGEIFS Function in Google Sheets: Explained - average the figures that meet multiple standards

Visit the following post if you are interested in learning how to count the number of specific cells.

COUNT Function in Google Sheets: Explained - count the number of cells containing numeric values (except for blank ones)

COUNTBLANK Function in Google Sheets: Explained - count the number of blank cells

COUNTUNIQUE Function in Google Sheets: Explained - count the number of unique cells

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