How to Count Blank Cells in Excel

how to count blank and non-blank cells using the COUNTBLANK and COUNTA Functions

Before we proceed into the topic of the day, let’s understand the terms: Blank cells and Non-blank cells.

Blank cells are empty cells in an Excel spreadsheet. They contain no parameter or data.

Non-blank cells, on the other hand, contain parameters. They are not empty.

Having blank cells in a spreadsheet is not inevitable. Sometimes, blanks are left, due to incomplete information or they may be oversite. In any way, when you have lots of data to view, it is important to have a knowledge of the total blank cells in the rows/columns/data.

In this tutorial, our focus is on how to count blank and non-blank cells using the COUNTBLANK and COUNTA Functions.

Get your computer/laptop, pen/pencil, and paper ready… Let us go!!!

COUNTBLANK Function

COUNTBLANK Function

The COUNTBLANK function is used to count blank cells in a specific range of cells. Examples of range of cells are:

  1. Cells in a row:  A1: M1
  2. Cells in a column:  A1: A8
  3. Cells in rows and columns:   A1: M8  (Pictures above).

COUNTBLANK counts the number of cells within the range that do not contain any value and gives you the total number of this. (See the picture COUNTBLANK)

In the last picture, you can see that there is a total of 13 cells to be filled in the range of A2:M2

The COUNTBLANK Function was used in cell N2 and the value 8 was gotten.

Meaning: 8 cells are blank.

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The SYNTAX of the COUNTBLANK Function

The SYNTAX of the COUNTBLANK Function is:

=COUNTBLANK(range)

Looking at the picture above,

The blue row reads:  =COUNTBLANK(A1: M1)

The Green Column reads:  =COUNTBLANK(A1: A8)

While the Sky-blue box reads:  =COUNTBLANK(A1: M8)

Time to kick off with a case study and see the COUNTBLANK Function at work.

 

Case Study

Case Study

Study the data above. It is a list of test scores of students in some subjects.

Count the number of blank cells in each row and column using the COUNTBLANK function.

Solution

Step 1:

Copy the above data into a new spreadsheet.

Take note of the Columns and Rows.

Count Blank Column

Step 2:

Add a new column, let us call it the ‘Countblank’ column, to the table. This column will house the number of blank cells to be determined.

Next, in cell N2 type:   =COUNTBLANK(A2: M2)

Then click the Enter Key, watch what happens:

In place of the formula, a number is seen, right?

If this is 3, then you are a guru. If not, check your data again, and then your formula.

Well done. You just succeeded in counting the number of blank cells in the second row.

Check out the pictures above.

Copoy and paste formula in cell

Step 3:

Next copy and paste the formula into the entire column N.

Hint: To copy; select the cell to copy (N2) using keys Ctrl + C.

Next, select the cells you wish to paste the formula, (N3 to N9), and press Ctrl + V.

The pictures above illustrate these points.

Good Job!!!

Now let’s count the blank cells in the columns.

Repeat the steps 2 and 3

Step 4:

Repeat the steps 2 and 3 as shown in Slide 6 and 7, this time you can name the new row ‘Blank’.

So type in A9: ‘Blank’

Next, in cell B9, type:

  =COUNTBLANK(B2: B8)

Click your Enter Key and see the Magic!!

Now, copy and paste the formula from B9 in C9 to M9. (Check the picture above).

Bravo! You have successfully counted the blank cells in the column and rows on the data.

To count the blank cells in the overall data

Step 5:

To count the blank cells in the overall data, in cell N9, type:

  =COUNTBLANK(A1: M8)

This is equal to the total blank cells in the rows/columns and it is 22 for this data.

Up Next: The COUNTA Function.

COUNTA Function

The COUNTA Function

Said earlier, the COUNTA Function counts the cells that are not empty. This should mean subtracting the COUNTBLANK value from the original range should give you the COUNTA value. This is not always so because the COUNTBLANK Function and COUNTA Function treats formulas.

The COUNTBLANK function includes formulas that return a blank value as blanks. COUNTA Function does not consider such cells as blank.

The SYNTAX of the COUNTA Function is:

=COUNTA(value 1, value 2, …)

Note: COUNTA Function counts the number of cells in a range that contain any kind of data, be it a text, a number, a space character or even an error.

 

Case Study

The COUNTA Function:

Said earlier, the COUNTA Function counts the cells that are not empty. This should mean subtracting the COUNTBLANK value from the original range should give you the COUNTA value. This is not always so because the COUNTBLANK Function and COUNTA Function treats formulas.

The COUNTBLANK function includes formulas that return a blank value as blanks. COUNTA Function does not consider such cells as blank.

The SYNTAX of the COUNTA Function is:

=COUNTA(value 1, value 2, …)

Note: COUNTA Function counts the number of cells in a range that contain any kind of data, be it a text, a number, a space character or even an error.

Case Study

Study the data above. Using the COUNTA Function,

  1. Count the number of non-blank cells in the data.
  2. Count the number of non-blank cells in E2: G3, and I3.

Step A: Copy the above data into a new spreadsheet.

 

Count Column to the table

Step B:

Add a new column, let’s call it the ‘Count’ column, to the table.

Next, in cell N2 type:

=COUNTA(B2: M8)

Click the Enter Key and watch the MAGIC! (Pictures above) You should get 62.

This answer the part (a) of the question.

The number of non-blank cells is counted,

Step C:

For part (b), in cell N3, type:

  =COUNTA(E2: G3, I3)

Next, press the Enter Key, see what happens….

The number of non-blank cells is counted, this gives us a value of 5.

Did you get that?

You are a genius!!!

successfully used the COUNTBLANK and COUNTA Functions to count the number of blank cells and non-blank cells respectively

Congratulations!!!

You have successfully used the COUNTBLANK and COUNTA Functions to count the number of blank cells and non-blank cells respectively.

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