The Excel count function returns the number of entries in a number field in a range. This means that only numbers would be counted within the range selected. These could be positive or negative numbers, percentages, dates, time, fractions, and even formulas that output numerical values. However, empty cells and text values are ignored. Now that we have introduced the count function let’s take a look at how the formula works.

## Syntax

The syntax for the count function is as follows:

=COUNT(value1, value2, value3….)

The values (Value 1, Value 2, Value 3….) in the above syntax serve as arguments and the count function can take multiple arguments. These arguments can be hard coded within the formula or can be selected from a range of cells.

## Hardcoded Arguments

As established in the syntax section, the Count function can be used with the values hardcoded (embedded) within the formula. You should note however that hardcoded text values are ignored in the formula. Let’s see some examples below:

=COUNT(1,”C”,”E”,”J”) // returns 1

=COUNT(20,”Banana”,”Mango”,”Pear”,50) // returns 2

From the above examples, you can see that every text value is excluded from the result.

## Selected from a Range of Cells

This is the most commonly used method for the Count function. Rather than manually inputting the values within the formula, you can select a contiguous data set in Excel and return the number of cells within that data set containing numerical values.

Let’s assume we want to count the number of numerical values within the range B1: B50, and the syntax will be edited as shown below.

Now, let’s take a visual representation. Our example below contains a range containing numerical and text data. To apply the count function on our range we just need to follow the steps discussed below.

**Step 1:** Create a cell outside your data set for calculating the count and type in the syntax **=COUNT(B3:B12)**

**Step 2:** Press enter and you are done, simple as that.