Microsoft Excel COUNTBLANK Function Tutorial

Since 1998

Microsoft Excel COUNTBLANK Function Tutorial

Excel Function Tutorial

The COUNTBLANK Function counts the number of blank cells within a given worksheet range. This function is used a great deal in logic.

What is the Microsoft Excel COUNTBLANK Function?

he COUNTBLANK function is a computer program that you run from a worksheet cell formula. It counts the number of blank cells within a given worksheet area (called a range). You run the COUNTBLANK function by typing its name in a formula then followed by the information it is suppose to look at. The COUNTBLANK worksheet function is generally used to determine the count of missing information. For instance, if you have a worksheet with sales information in it and you wanted to count how many sales were not completed (no values), you could have the COUNTBLANK function look down a column or row and determine how many blank cells there are. The COUNTBLANK worksheet function is capable of looking at thousands of cells together at once. The COUNTBLANK function is most commonly used to look across a row or down a column on the worksheet.

How Do You Type the COUNTBLANK Worksheet Function in a Formula?

Whenever you type a formula in a worksheet cell, this is called syntax or grammar. The general COUNTBLANK function syntax has a format like this when you type it in a worksheet cell:

=COUNTBLANK(value1,[value2], ...)

Where value1, [value2] ..... are called the function argument list. Remember, you are running a computer program at this point so the program needs information to operate and that is why there is an argument list. When you see an argument list and you see square brackets [ ] around the argument name, this means the argument is optional and you do not have to include it when typing unless you need it. So for the syntax above, you need to include one argument for the COUNTBLANK function when typing it in a worksheet cell formula in order for it to calculate correctly. How many arguments can be placed in the list is dependent upon the Excel version you are using. What argument values can be used are discussed below. Remember functions expect certain things in their argument lists, if you do not put the correct information in the list they will generate an error when run.

How Do You Run the COUNTBLANK Function?

Since the COUNTBLANK function is a computer program, it runs when you press Enter to enter the formula that contains it. If any of the arguments are wrong, the function will return an error.

What Do I Type for a COUNTBLANK Function Argument?

When typing the COUNTBLANK function in a worksheet cell formula, you need to replace the value1... argument list with arguments separating each one with a comma (,). Some typical arguments you can use are:

Argument Type Cell Formula Example Explanation
Cell Reference = COUNTBLANK( A1, B1 ) Count how many blanks are in cells A1 and B1
Range Reference = COUNTBLANK( A1:A10 ) Count how many blanks are in cells A1 to A10
Multiple Columns and Rows  = COUNTBLANK( A1:A10, C1:C10 ) Count how many blanks are in A1 to A10 and from C1 to C10
Cell and Range Names  = COUNTBLANK( Sales_2012 )  Count how many blanks are in the range named Sales_2012 * 

* It is possible to name a cell or group of cells on a worksheet and use that name in place of a range reference or cell reference. Consult Excel help on how to name a cell.

Additional COUNTBLANK Function Examples

The worksheet seen below contains some typical worksheet formulas that run the COUNTBLANK worksheet function. Pay close attention to the argument list and the syntax used to write the formula.

1 Quantity = COUNT( A1:A5 ) Counts how many blank cells are in cells A1 to A5
2 100    
3 200    

Things to Know About the COUNTBLANK Function

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