Monday, 12 November 2012

Calculate total length of all cells in a row or column

In Excel the LEN function returns the length of any given cell, but it errors if asked to find the length of an array of cells. E.g. =LEN(A2:Q2) will not return the length of all cells in the given range. In order to find the length of an array of cells you need to enter the formula as an array formula.

Type the same formula into a cell  (=LEN(A2:Q2)) but before hitting [ENTER] hold down the [CTRL] and [SHIFT] keys simultaneously. Excel will bracket the formula in curly braces automatically, you do not need to type the braces in. The formula will look like this:

{=LEN(A2:Q2))} and the cell will display the total number of characters in the selected array of cells.

Big thanks to Guy Parrington for the heads up!

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