Using the LEN function

The LEN function is one of Excel's most useful string-manipulation tools. This simple formula outputs the length of any given input. Use it like this:


LEN also works when you call it on individual cells. Take a look at the following spreadsheet, in which we have called the LEN function on three separate cells:

Count characters in Excel using LEN
Output: 7
Output: 11
Output: 2

Cell formatting complications

It’s important to note that the LEN function calculates the length of inputs in their raw form; formatting is ignored.

In the following example, the function returns a value of 3 when pointed to cell B3, despite the fact that the text in cell B3 is 300.00. This is because the actual value in the cell is 300; the decimal point and extra zeroes are displayed due to number formatting, but are ignored by the LEN function.

Formatting ignored while counting characters
Output: 3

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