# How To Count Cells That Contain Exactly N Characters

## Example

=COUNTIF(\$B\$3:\$B\$11,REPT(“?”,D3))

## Generic Formula

=COUNTIF(Range,REPT(“?”,N))
• Range – This is the range of cells to count.
• N – This the number of characters to count.

## What It Does

This formula will count the number of cells in a given range which contain exactly N characters.

## How It Works

This formula makes use of the question mark “?” character which is a wildcard for exactly one character.

REPT(“?”,N) will return a text string made of exactly N question marks. In our example REPT(“?”,2) returns “??“.

COUNTIF(Range,”??”) will then count all the cells in the Range that contain exactly 2 characters because of the two “?” wildcard characters in the COUNTIF criteria. In our example Range has 3 cells which contain exactly 2 characters, so COUNTIF(Range,”??”) returns 3.

## John MacDougall

John is a Microsoft MVP and freelance consultant and trainer specializing in Excel, Power BI, Power Automate, Power Apps and SharePoint. You can find other interesting articles from John on his blog or YouTube channel.

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