How to Do a Google Sheets Word Count: A Step-by-Step Guide

In today’s world, keeping track of word counts in your documents is more important than ever, especially if you’re a student, writer, or professional who frequently uses Google Sheets. Luckily, counting words in Google Sheets isn’t as hard as it might seem. In just a few simple steps, you can easily get an accurate word count for any text in your spreadsheet. Ready to find out how? Let’s dive in!

Step by Step Tutorial on Google Sheets Word Count

Before we start counting words willy-nilly, it’s important to understand what we’re trying to achieve here. In the following steps, you’ll learn how to use a simple formula to calculate the number of words in a cell or range of cells in Google Sheets.

Step 1: Select the cell where you want the word count to appear

Click on the cell where you want to display the word count for your text.

This step is important because it tells Google Sheets where you want the word count result to show up. It’s like picking a spot on a treasure map where X marks the spot!

Step 2: Enter the formula =COUNTA(SPLIT(text, ” “))

Type in the formula =COUNTA(SPLIT(A1, ” “)) into the cell, replacing A1 with the cell containing your text.

This formula works by splitting the text in the specified cell by spaces (which usually separate words) and then counting the resulting parts. The COUNTA function counts all non-empty values, thus giving you the total word count.

Step 3: Press Enter

After typing in the formula, hit the Enter key on your keyboard to execute the formula.

Once you press Enter, the magic happens! Google Sheets processes the formula and spits out the number of words in your selected cell or range of cells.

After completing these steps, you’ll have a clear word count for your text. This can be incredibly useful for a variety of tasks, such as meeting word limits for essays, creating content for social media, or tracking the length of documents.

Tips for Google Sheets Word Count

  • Keep in mind that the word count formula will count numbers as words if they are separated by spaces. So, “2021 is awesome” would be counted as three words.
  • If you have multiple cells to count, you can either drag the formula down to copy it to other cells or adapt the formula to count the range of cells.
  • Punctuation will not affect the word count. The formula only considers spaces when splitting the text.
  • The formula is case-insensitive, meaning it doesn’t matter if the words are in uppercase or lowercase.
  • If you want to count words across multiple columns or rows, you can use the formula =COUNTA(SPLIT(JOIN(” “, A1:B2), ” “)) replacing A1:B2 with your range.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I count words in multiple cells at once?

Yes, you can count words in multiple cells by adjusting the formula to include a range of cells.

Does this formula count numbers as words?

Yes, the formula counts anything separated by a space as a word, including numbers.

Will punctuation affect the word count?

No, punctuation won’t affect the word count since the formula only considers spaces for splitting the text.

Is there a way to exclude numbers from the word count?

Excluding numbers would require a more complex formula or script, as the basic word count formula treats numbers as words if they’re space-separated.

Can I use this formula to count characters instead of words?

To count characters, you would use a different formula: =LEN(A1) replacing A1 with the cell containing your text.


  1. Select the cell for the word count display.
  2. Enter the formula for word count.
  3. Press Enter to execute and display the word count.


And there you have it! You’re now equipped with the knowledge to perform a Google Sheets word count like a pro. This skill can be a lifesaver in many situations, whether you’re crafting the perfect tweet, writing an assignment, or even keeping track of character counts for a presentation. Remember, Google Sheets is more than just numbers and data; it’s a versatile tool that can help with a variety of textual tasks.

While our tutorial has covered the basics, don’t be afraid to experiment with the formula to fit your specific needs. And, if you find yourself stuck or in need of more advanced functionality, the Google Sheets community is always there to help with scripts and custom functions.

In the age of information and content, being able to swiftly count words can keep you one step ahead. So go ahead, try out your new skills, and watch your productivity soar! Now, aren’t you glad you learned how to do a Google Sheets word count today?

Join Our Free Newsletter

Featured guides and deals

You may opt out at any time. Read our Privacy Policy