What Is the LEN Formula in Excel? Definition and Examples

To use the function, enter =LEN(cell) in the formula bar, then press Enter on your keyboard. Multiple cells: To apply the same formula to multiple cells, enter the formula in the first cell and then drag the fill handle down (or across) the range of cells.

When it comes to crunching numbers, Excel is the go-to software for most businesses. It has a wide range of built-in functions for calculating sums and averages, but sometimes you need to go further. If you need to calculate the length of a particular cell range, the LEN formula in Excel can help. The LEN formula can be used to calculate the length of any text string stored in a cell. It evaluates the contents of the cell and counts the number of characters in the string, including spaces, numbers, and special characters. This makes it an incredibly useful tool for data analysis and evaluation. In this blog post, we’ll explore how to use the LEN formula in Excel, as well as look at some common use cases and examples. We’ll also discuss how to troubleshoot any issues that you may encounter. With this knowledge, you’ll be able to use the LEN formula in Excel to quickly and accurately measure the length of text strings in your

Excel LEN Function

When to use the LEN formula in excel

There are several situations where you might need to know how many characters are in a cell. For instance, a sales manager might have a spreadsheet with each salesperson’s name and the total amount of revenue they brought in during a particular quarter. The manager could use the LEN formula to count the digits in the revenue column and then highlight each salesperson who generated more than $10,000 in sales. They generated the necessary revenue if the number is greater than five.

The LEN formula is frequently used in conjunction with other Excel functions. For instance, a travel agent might have a spreadsheet with three columns. A starting city, a destination city, and a distance between the two cities in miles are listed in the first, second, and third columns, respectively. The final column has text in the format “150 miles. The travel agent can use a combination of the LEN formula and the LEFT formula to remove the last five characters from the string in order to get just the number from the column.

What is the LEN formula in Excel?

A built-in function in Excel called LEN returns the total number of characters in a string. Users can use the LEN formula to add length to a set string or a cell that contains data. The LEN formula reads as:


With the desired data going inside the parentheses. For example, the LEN formula could read “=LEN(B4)” or “LEN(“St. Louis, MS”). ”.

How to use the LEN formula in excel

The steps to use the LEN formula in Excel are listed below:

1. Input your text

Enter the text whose length you want to know in an Excel cell. This text can either be a string or numbers. For instance, you could enter a person’s name into cell A1 to determine how many letters are in their last name.

2. Select a cell

Choose the cell where you want the LEN formula’s output to appear. Pick a cell that doesn’t already contain any other information. When a cell is selected, a thicker border surrounds its edge to indicate that it is selected.

3. Input the LEN formula

Inside the selected empty cell, type the LEN formula. In order to do this, you can either type into the cell directly or into the formula bar at the top of the spreadsheet. Enter “LEN()” after the equals sign in either of these fields. Include the cell reference number of the cell whose length you want to determine after that inside the parentheses. For instance, the formula in your empty cell would be “=LEN(A1)” if you wanted to know how many characters were in cell A1. “After entering the formula, hit the “Enter” key or select a different cell. The chosen cell then displays the length of the desired cell.

Examples of the LEN formula in excel

The table below shows a sample text in Column A, the LEN formula value corresponding to it in Column B, and the outcome in Column C:

Column AColumn BColumn C1Last NameFormulaResult2Smith=LEN(A2)53Davidson=LEN(A3)
135St. Louis=LEN(A5)
9## Len formula tips

You can use the following advice when using the LEN formula:

Apply to an entire row or column

You might want to use the LEN formula to transform an entire row or column of data in some circumstances. For instance, you might want the same number of characters to appear in Column B as there are last names in Column A. To get started, enter the LEN formula in cell B1 Use cell references within the formula if you want to apply the LEN formula to an entire row or column.

After entering the formula, move the mouse to the selected cell’s bottom-right corner until a white plus sign appears. then use your mouse to click and drag downward until all of the cells you want to apply the formula to are highlighted. For instance, you might drag your mouse from cell B1 to cell B10 if you have a list of ten names. This updates the corresponding cell references for each highlighted cell, applying the formula to those cells. The formula is applied to the entire column using this method, but you can use the same strategy to apply it to the entire row as well.

Account for spaces and other characters

Keep in mind that the LEN formula includes characters other than letters and blank spaces when using it. If you have a list of cities, for instance, a cell that says “St Louis” would return a result of 10 characters. There is another Excel formula called SUBSTITUTE that you can use to determine the number of characters in a cell without spaces.

For instance, if you have the text “St. If you type the following formula into cell B1 after entering “Louis” in cell A1 and want the number of characters without spaces to appear in cell B1:


You enter the cell references first, the character you want to replace, and then the character you want to replace it with in the SUBSTITUTE formula. In this case, you are instructing the formula to remove the spaces by replacing all of them with nothing. In order to count the remaining characters, this then returns a string to the LEN formula without any spaces. You can eliminate characters other than spaces from your LEN formula using a similar formula.

Factor in formatting

Remember that the LEN formula doesnt account for number formatting. For instance, applying the LEN formula to a cell that contains the value “$5,000” results in a value of four This is due to the fact that, when applied to numbers, the LEN formula ignores symbols such as the dollar sign and commas.

Dates follow the same rule because the LEN formula reads every date as a five-digit serial number. The LEN formula does take into account negative numbers and decimals. Therefore, when using the LEN formula, it’s crucial to check your formatting to make sure you’re getting the kind of result you’re expecting.

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