# How to use the COUNTBLANK function

**What is the COUNTBLANK Function?**

The COUNTBLANK function counts empty or blank cells in a range.

#### Table of Contents

## 1. COUNTBLANK Function Syntax

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

## 2. COUNTBLANK Function Arguments

value1 |
Required. A cell reference to a range for which you want to count empty cells. |

[value2] |
Optional. Up to 254 additional arguments like the one above. |

The COUNTBLANK function counts errors as not empty.

## 3. COUNTBLANK Function Example

The picture above demonstrates the COUNTBLANK function entered in cell F3, it counts blank cells meaning empty cells. The evaluated range is C3:C10, two of the cells contains formulas, three cells seem to be empty but only one is in fact empty. Column B shows the count of empty cells in cell C3:C10-

- Cell C3 contains a text value "A", this cell is not empty. There is no formula in that cell so cell D3 shows nothing.
- Cell C4 contains ="" which is a formula that returns nothing. Cell D4 shows the formula. Cell B3 shows one 1 meaning the COUNTBLANK function considers this cell empty.
- Cell C5 contains a number, this cell is not empty. D5 shows nothing, no formula is in cell C5.
- Cell C6 is empty.
- Cell C7 contains a space character.
- Cell C8 contains boolean value TRUE, this cell is not empty.
- Cell C9 contains the #DIV/0! error, this cell is not empty. Cell D9 shows the formula that returns this error.
- Cell C10 contains test string "Text", this cell is not empty.

Tip! Use the TRIM function to remove space characters before using the COUNTBLANK function. This will count cells as empty if they only contain a space character if this is what you want.

The formula in cell F3 counts two empty cells in cell range C3:C10. Note, there is also one error value meaning the COUNTBLANK function works with error values as well.

Formula in cell F3:

### Explaining formula

COUNTBLANK(C3:C10)

becomes

COUNTBLANK({"A";"";44;0;" ";TRUE;#DIV/0!;"Text"})

and returns 2.

Cell C7 is not empty, it contains a space character. Cell C4 contains a formula, however, the output is nothing. The COUNTBLANK function counts cell C4 as empty.

## 4. Count blanks - arrays and other functions

The COUNTBLANK function doesn't let you use hard-coded arrays in the range argument. This example shows that you can't use hard-coded arrays in the COUNTBLANK function, a dialog box appears telling you there is a problem with the formula.

Formula in cell C3:

The COUNTBLANK function does not allow you to use the IF function in the range argument at all. The image above shows a data table in cell range B3:C11. The fomrula in cell F3 tries to use a condition before evaluating if cells are empty or not.

The image above shows what happens if you try to use the IF function in the range argument. The formula below returns #VALUE! errors.

There is however a workaround presented in section 5 below.

## 5. Count blanks based on a condition

This example demonstrates how to count empty cells based on a condition. Cell range B3:C11 contains a data table, it has the following header names: "Item" and " Amounts".

Item | Amounts |

Pen | |

Pencil | 7 |

Clip | 45 |

Pen | 31 |

Clip | |

Pencil | 37 |

Pen | 98 |

Clip | |

Clip | 6 |

The formula in cell F3 filters empty cell values from C3:C11 based on the condition specified in cell E3. If the cell in cell range B3:B11 matches the condition then the SUM function adds those cells to the total count of empty cells.

Formula in cell F3:

For example, cells B5, B7, B10, and B11 matches the condition in cell E3. The corresponding cells in column C are C5, C7, C10, and C11. Only cells C7 and C10 are empty. The formula in cell C3 returns 2 representing the total number of empty cells in cell range C3:C11 based on the condition in E3.

### Explaining formula

The Evaluate Formula tool is located on the Formulas tab in the Ribbon. It is a useful feature that allows you to step through and evaluate complex formulas to understand how the calculation is being performed and identify any errors or issues. The following steps shows these detailed evaluations for the formula above.

#### Step 1 - Check values against a condition

The equal sign lets you compare value to value, you can also compare value to multiple values, and the result is an array.

The equal sign is a logical operator and the result is a boolean value TRUE or FALSE.

B3:B11=E3

becomes

{"Pen"; "Pencil"; "Clip"; "Pen"; "Clip"; "Pencil"; "Pen"; "Clip"; "Clip"}="Clip"

and returns

{FALSE; FALSE; TRUE; FALSE; TRUE; FALSE; FALSE; TRUE; TRUE}.

#### Step 2 - Filter values based on a condition

The FILTER function extracts values/rows based on a condition or criteria.

Function syntax: FILTER(array, include, [if_empty])

FILTER(C3:C11,B3:B11=E3)

becomes

FILTER(C3:C11,{FALSE; FALSE; TRUE; FALSE; TRUE; FALSE; FALSE; TRUE; TRUE})

becomes

FILTER({"";7;45;31;"";37;98;"";6}, {FALSE; FALSE; TRUE; FALSE; TRUE; FALSE; FALSE; TRUE; TRUE})

and returns

{45; ""; ""; 6}.

#### Step 3 - Find blank values

The equal sign lets you compare value to value, the "" double quotes mean that the equal sign compares to nothing.

FILTER(C3:C11,B3:B11=E3)=""

becomes

{45; ""; ""; 6}=""

and returns

{FALSE; TRUE; TRUE; FALSE}.

#### Step 5 - Add boolean values

The SUM function allows you to add numerical values, the function returns the sum in the cell it is entered in. The SUM function is cleverly designed to ignore text and boolean values, adding only numbers.

Function syntax: SUM(number1, [number2], ...)

SUM((FILTER(C3:C11,B3:B11=E3)="")*1)

becomes

SUM({FALSE; TRUE; TRUE; FALSE})

and returns 2.

FALSE is 0 (zero) and TRUE is 1.

## 6. Count blanks based on multiple conditions

This example demonstrates how to count empty cells based on two conditions. Cell range B3:C11 contains a data table with these header names: "Item" and "Amounts". Cell range E3:E4 contains the conditions the formula uses to extract the corresponding cells in column C.

Item | Amounts |

Pen | |

Pencil | 7 |

Clip | 45 |

Pen | 31 |

Clip | |

Pencil | 37 |

Pen | 98 |

Clip | |

Clip | 6 |

If the cell in cell range B3:B11 matches one of the conditions then the SUM function adds those cells to the total count of empty cells.

Formula in cell G3:

For example, cells B3, B5, B6, B7, B9, B10, and B11 matches the condition in cell E3. The corresponding cells in column C are C3, C5, C6, C7, C9, C10, and C11. Only cells C3, C7, and C10 are empty. The formula in cell G3 returns 2 representing the total number of empty cells in cell range C3:C11 based on the condition in E3.

### Explaining formula

The Evaluate Formula tool is located on the Formulas tab in the Ribbon. It is a useful feature that allows you to step through and evaluate complex formulas to understand how the calculation is being performed and identify any errors or issues. The following steps shows these detailed evaluations for the formula above.

#### Step 1 - Count cells matching the conditions

The COUNTIF function calculates the number of cells that is equal to a condition.

Function syntax: COUNTIF(range, criteria)

COUNTIF(E3:E4,B3:B11)

returns {1;0;1;1;1;0;1;1;1}

#### Step 2 - Filter values based on array

The FILTER function extracts values/rows based on a condition or criteria.

Function syntax: FILTER(array, include, [if_empty])

FILTER(C3:C11,COUNTIF(E3:E4,B3:B11))

becomes

FILTER(C3:C11,{1;0;1;1;1;0;1;1;1})

and returns {0;45;31;0;98;0;6}

#### Step 3 - Check if values are empty

The equal sign lets you compare value to value, the "" double quotes mean that the equal sign compares to nothing.

FILTER(C3:C11,COUNTIF(E3:E4,B3:B11))=""

becomes

{0;45;31;0;98;0;6}=""

and returns {TRUE;FALSE;FALSE;TRUE;FALSE;TRUE;FALSE}

#### Step 4 - Multiply by 1

The asterisk lets you multiply values in a formula.

(FILTER(C3:C11,COUNTIF(E3:E4,B3:B11))="")*1

becomes

{TRUE;FALSE;FALSE;TRUE;FALSE;TRUE;FALSE}*1

and returns {1;0;0;1;0;1;0}

#### Step 5 - Add the numbers and return total of empty cells

The SUM function allows you to add numerical values, the function returns the sum in the cell it is entered in. The SUM function is cleverly designed to ignore text and boolean values, adding only numbers.

Function syntax: SUM(number1, [number2], ...)

SUM((FILTER(C3:C11,COUNTIF(E3:E4,B3:B11))="")*1)

becomes

SUM({1;0;0;1;0;1;0})

and returns 3 in cell G3.

## 7. Count blanks in a delimited text string

The COUNTBLANK function does not work with the TEXTSPLIT function we need a workaround to count blank empty values in an array.

The image above shows the following value in cell C3: A;;44;0; ;TRUE;#DIV/0!;Text The formula in cell C3 splits the string into an array of values based on the specified delimiting character. In this case ; (semicolon).

Formula in cell C3:

The equal sign ="" and the double quotes check if the value in the array is empty. The asterisk converts the boolean values to numerical equivalents and the sum function calculates the total number of empty array containers.

### Explaining formula

The Evaluate Formula tool is located on the Formulas tab in the Ribbon. It is a useful feature that allows you to step through and evaluate complex formulas to understand how the calculation is being performed and identify any errors or issues. The following steps shows these detailed evaluations for the formula above.

#### Step 1 - Split strintg into an array of values

The TEXTSPLIT function splits a string into an array based on delimiting values.

Function syntax: TEXTSPLIT(Input_Text, col_delimiter, [row_delimiter], [Ignore_Empty])

TEXTSPLIT(C3,";")

returns {"A","","44","0"," ","TRUE","#DIV/0!","Text"}

#### Step 2 - Check if array value is empty

The equal sign lets you compare value to value, the "" double quotes mean that the equal sign compares to nothing.

TEXTSPLIT(C3,";")=""

becomes

{"A","","44","0"," ","TRUE","#DIV/0!","Text"}=""

and returns

{FALSE,TRUE,FALSE,FALSE,FALSE,FALSE,FALSE,FALSE}

#### Step 3 - Multiply boolean values by 1 to convert to numerical values

The asterisk lets you multiply values in a formula.

(TEXTSPLIT(C3,";")="")*1

becomes

{FALSE,TRUE,FALSE,FALSE,FALSE,FALSE,FALSE,FALSE}*1

and returns

{0,1,0,0,0,0,0,0}

#### Step 4 - Add numbers and return a total

The SUM function allows you to add numerical values, the function returns the sum in the cell it is entered in. The SUM function is cleverly designed to ignore text and boolean values, adding only numbers.

Function syntax: SUM(number1, [number2], ...)

SUM((TEXTSPLIT(C3,";")="")*1)

becomes

SUM({0,1,0,0,0,0,0,0}) and returns 1.

## 8. Count blanks in multiple cell ranges

This example demonstrates how to count empty cells across different cell ranges and worksheets. The following cell ranges contains data and some blanks: B3:B9, D3:D9, and F3:F9. You can see them clearly in the image above.

Formula in cell B12:

The formula in cell B11 counts empty cell in all specified cell ranges, they don't have to be on the same worksheet as this example demonstrates.

### Explaining formula

#### Step 1 - Join cell ranges

The VSTACK function combines cell ranges or arrays. Joins data to the first blank cell at the bottom of a cell range or array (vertical stacking)

Function syntax: VSTACK(array1,[array2],...)

VSTACK(B3:B9,D3:D9,F3:F9)

#### Step 2 - Check if empty

VSTACK(B3:B9,D3:D9,F3:F9)=""

#### Step 3 - Convert boolean values to numbers

The asterisk lets you multiply values in a formula.

(VSTACK(B3:B9,D3:D9,F3:F9)="")*1

returns

{0;1;0;0;0;0;0;0;0;0;1;1;0;0;1;0;0;0;0;0;1}

#### Step 4 - Calculate a total

Function syntax: SUM(number1, [number2], ...)

SUM((VSTACK(B3:B9,D3:D9,F3:F9)="")*1)

becomes

SUM({0;1;0;0;0;0;0;0;0;0;1;1;0;0;1;0;0;0;0;0;1})

and returns 5 in cell B11.

## 9. Count blank cells ignoring space characters

The following formula counts blank cells even if the cell contains one or more space characters. This example demonstrates how to use the TRIM function to count empty cells in a specific cell range.

The image above shows data in cell range B3:B14, it contains all kinds of data. Text values, numbers, error values, cells containing space characters and empty cells.

Array formula in cell D5:

Excel 365 subscribers may skip the following steps to create an array formula.

### How to enter an array formula

To enter an array formula, type the formula in a cell then press and hold CTRL + SHIFT simultaneously, now press Enter once. Release all keys.

The formula bar now shows the formula with a beginning and ending curly bracket telling you that you entered the formula successfully. Don't enter the curly brackets yourself.

### Explaining formula in cell D5

#### Step 1 - Remove leading and trailing space characters

The TRIM function deletes leading and trailing space characters from a cell value, however, here I am using a cell range so we need to enter this formula as an array formula.

TRIM(B3:B14)

becomes

TRIM({"ZF";"";"5";"T5";**" "**;#N/A;"SK";"JK";"";"DP";"3";#DIV/0!})

and returns

{"ZF";"";"5";"T5";**""**;#N/A;"SK";"JK";"";"DP";"3";#DIV/0!}

#### Step 2 - Convert error values to a valid value

Also, the TRIM function doesn't ignore error values, we need to trap those error values before counting them and the IFERROR function allows you to do that.

becomes

IFERROR({"ZF";"";"5";"T5";**""**;#N/A;"SK";"JK";"";"DP";"3";#DIV/0!},"A")

and returns {"ZF";"";"5";"T5";**""**;#N/A;"SK";"JK";"";"DP";"3";#DIV/0!}.

I have entered the array in column A.

#### Step 3 - Compare each value in the array to nothing

The equal sign lets you compare the values in the array to a given condition, in this case "" is nothing.

becomes

{"ZF";"";"5";"T5";"";"A";"SK";"JK";"";"DP";"3";"A"}=""

and returns {FALSE; TRUE; FALSE; FALSE; TRUE; FALSE; FALSE; FALSE; TRUE; FALSE; FALSE; FALSE}.

I have entered the array in column A.

#### Step 4 - Convert boolean values

The SUM function can't add boolean values in an array, we need to convert them. TRUE becomes 1 and FALSE becomes 0 (zero).

(IFERROR(TRIM(B3:B14),"A")="")*1

becomes

({FALSE; TRUE; FALSE; FALSE; TRUE; FALSE; FALSE; FALSE; TRUE; FALSE; FALSE; FALSE})*1

and returns {0; 1; 0; 0; 1; 0; 0; 0; 1; 0; 0; 0}.

I have entered the array in column A.

#### Step 5 - Sum values

SUM((IFERROR(TRIM(B3:B14),"A")="")*1)

becomes

SUM({0; 1; 0; 0; 1; 0; 0; 0; 1; 0; 0; 0}) and returns 3 in cell D5.

### 'COUNTBLANK' function examples

The following article has a formula that contains the COUNTBLANK function.

### Functions in 'Statistical' category

The COUNTBLANK function function is one of 73 functions in the 'Statistical' category.

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