How To Count Words In Google Sheets

Last Updated on November 18, 2021 by Jake Sheridan

In this tutorial, you will learn how to timestamp in Google Sheets.

Spreadsheets are typically associated with numbers and calculations, but it’s not uncommon to use spreadsheets to store words and text. When writing in a word processor, it’s generally easy to find a tool to count the words in your document, but what if you want to do the same in Google Sheets?

While a standard word count tool isn’t available in Google Sheets, with a little extra work you can count words using formulas

Count Words in a Cell

While it can get complex to attempt to count words in an entire spreadsheet, counting words in a single cell is relatively straightforward:

Step 1

Select a cell to calculate the wordcount in and type the following formula: “=COUNTA(SPLIT(A2, ” “))”, then hit enter

Step 2

In this formula, A2 is the cell you want to count the words in. The SPLIT() function splits the contents of A2 into an array of shorter strings using the spaces in the text to determine when to split the string. The COUNTA() function wrapped around that simply counts the number of words generated by SPLIT(), resulting in a word count for the cell

Counting Words for a Range

While you could create a separate word count formula for each cell in the range and do a sum, there’s a faster way to count words in a range.

Here’s how:

Step 1

Select a cell to calculate the word count in and type the following formula: “=COUNTA(SPLIT(TEXTJOIN(” “, true, A2:B9), ” “))” where the range A2:B9 is the range you want to get a word count for

Step 2

This formula uses the TEXTJOIN() function to join the values of all the cells in the range into a single string, joined with spaces. From there, it works the same as the single cell formula

Step 3

The above formula works on any size contiguous range. By repeating this formula for all relevant ranges and then summing the results, you can count all the words in an entire Google Sheet


Example Spreadsheet: Make a copy of the example spreadsheet

In this tutorial, I covered how to timestamp in Google Sheets. Want more? Check out all the Google Sheets Tutorials.