Excel Tutorial: How To Count Column In Excel


Counting columns in Excel is a crucial skill for anyone working with data or spreadsheets. Whether you are analyzing data, creating reports, or simply organizing information, knowing the total number of columns in Excel can save you time and help you make more accurate calculations and analyses. In this tutorial, we will cover the importance of counting columns in Excel and provide an overview of the step-by-step process to do so.

Key Takeaways

  • Counting columns in Excel is essential for accurate data analysis and reporting.
  • Accessing and selecting columns can be done efficiently using both mouse and keyboard shortcuts.
  • Utilize Excel functions and features such as COUNT and AutoSum for counting selected columns.
  • Removing blank rows and keeping data organized are important best practices for accurate column counting.
  • Conditional formatting can be used to highlight and count specific data in Excel.

Accessing the Data

In order to count a column in Excel, you first need to access the data you want to work with. This involves opening the Excel workbook and navigating to the specific worksheet where the data is located.

A. Opening the Excel workbook

Start by locating the Excel file on your computer and double-clicking on it to open it. If you have the Excel program already open, you can also go to File > Open and navigate to the file location to open it.

B. Navigating to the specific worksheet

Once the workbook is open, you will need to navigate to the specific worksheet that contains the column you want to count. Click on the appropriate tab at the bottom of the Excel window to switch to the desired worksheet. If the worksheet is not visible, you can use the sheet navigation buttons to scroll through the available sheets.

Selecting the Columns

When working with Excel, being able to count the values in a specific column is a common task. But before you can do that, you need to know how to select the column you want to work with. Here are some methods for selecting columns in Excel:

A. Using the mouse to select the entire column
  • Click on the letter at the top of the column to select the entire column
  • To select multiple columns, click and drag across the letters at the top of the columns you want to select

B. Utilizing keyboard shortcuts for quick selection
  • To select the entire column using a keyboard shortcut, press Ctrl + Space
  • To select multiple columns using a keyboard shortcut, press Ctrl while clicking on the letters at the top of the columns you want to select

Counting the Selected Columns

When working with Excel, it's often necessary to count the values in a specific column. There are several methods you can use to accomplish this task, including utilizing Excel functions and the AutoSum feature.

A. Utilizing the COUNT function in Excel

The COUNT function in Excel allows you to count the number of cells in a range that contain numbers. This function is particularly useful when you need to count the values in a specific column.

  • Select the cell where you want the count to appear.
  • Enter the formula =COUNT(range), replacing "range" with the actual range of cells you want to count. For example, if you want to count the values in column A from row 1 to 10, you would enter =COUNT(A1:A10).
  • Press Enter to calculate the count.

B. Using the AutoSum feature to count the selected columns

Another method for counting the values in a column is to use the AutoSum feature in Excel. This feature automatically adds up the values in a selected range of cells.

  • Select the cell where you want the count to appear.
  • Click on the AutoSum button in the "Editing" group on the Home tab. This will automatically select the range of cells above the selected cell and display the sum in the cell.
  • If the AutoSum doesn't select the correct range, you can manually select the range by dragging your mouse over the cells you want to count.
  • Press Enter to calculate the count.

Removing Blank Rows

When working with a large dataset in Excel, it’s common to encounter blank rows that can disrupt your analysis. Here’s how you can easily identify and remove these blank rows from your spreadsheet.

A. Identifying and selecting blank rows

Before you can delete the blank rows, you need to first identify and select them. One way to do this is to visually scan the entire dataset, but for larger datasets, this can be time-consuming. Instead, you can use the Go To Special function to quickly select all the blank cells in a column or range.

Using Go To Special:

  • Click on any cell in the column you want to check for blank cells.
  • Go to the Home tab, and in the Editing group, click on Find & Select, then choose Go To Special.
  • In the Go To Special dialog box, select Blanks and click OK.
  • All the blank cells in the selected column will now be highlighted.

B. Deleting the blank rows using the delete or filter functions

Once you have identified and selected the blank rows, you can then proceed to delete them using either the delete function or the filter function.

Using the Delete Function:

  • With the blank cells still selected, right-click on any of the selected cells and choose Delete from the context menu.
  • In the Delete dialog box, select Entire row and click OK.
  • All the selected blank rows will be deleted from your spreadsheet.

Using the Filter Function:

  • With the blank cells still selected, go to the Data tab and click on the Filter button.
  • Click on the drop-down arrow in the column header of the selected blank cells and uncheck the (Blanks) option.
  • Only the non-blank rows will be displayed. You can then select and delete these rows manually.

By following these simple steps, you can efficiently remove any blank rows from your Excel spreadsheet, allowing you to work with clean and accurate data.

Best Practices for Counting Columns

When working with data in Excel, it's important to have a systematic approach for counting columns to ensure accuracy. Here are some best practices for counting columns in Excel:

A. Keeping the data organized to avoid errors in counting

  • Use Headers: Always use clear and descriptive headers for each column to easily identify and count them.
  • Freeze Panes: Freeze the top row and leftmost column to keep headers and row labels visible while scrolling through the worksheet.
  • Sort Data: Sort the data in a logical manner to easily count and identify columns.
  • Use Filters: Apply filters to easily narrow down the data and count specific columns.

B. Using conditional formatting to highlight and count specific data

  • Conditional Formatting: Use conditional formatting to highlight specific data in a column based on a set of criteria, making it easy to visually count the highlighted cells.
  • Data Bars and Color Scales: Apply data bars or color scales to visually represent the values in a column, aiding in the counting process.
  • Custom Formulas: Create custom formulas to count specific criteria within a column, providing a more tailored counting method.

By following these best practices, you can ensure an efficient and accurate method for counting columns in Excel, ultimately leading to better data analysis and decision-making.


In summary, counting columns in Excel is a simple but powerful tool that can save you time and effort in data analysis. By utilizing the COUNT function and AutoSum feature, you can easily get accurate counts of your data without the need for manual calculations. As you continue to practice and explore Excel's various features, you'll discover even more ways to streamline your work and improve your productivity.

Excel Dashboard

ONLY $99

    Immediate Download

    MAC & PC Compatible

    Free Email Support

Related aticles