# Counting Asterisks in Excel

Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you needed to count the number of asterisks in an Excel spreadsheet? Maybe you’re working on a project where you need to track the number of times a certain symbol appears in a column, or maybe you’re just curious about how many times you’ve used the asterisk in your data. Whatever the reason, Excel makes it easy to count the number of asterisks in your spreadsheet.

## Using the COUNTIF Function

The easiest way to count the number of asterisks in your Excel spreadsheet is to use the COUNTIF function. This function allows you to count the number of cells in a range that meet a certain criteria. In this case, we want to count the number of cells that contain an asterisk.

### Step 1: Select the Range

The first step is to select the range of cells that you want to count. This can be a single column, a row, or a range of cells. For example, if you want to count the number of asterisks in column A, you would select the entire column by clicking on the column header.

### Step 2: Enter the COUNTIF Function

Next, you need to enter the COUNTIF function into a cell where you want the result to appear. The syntax for the COUNTIF function is:

=COUNTIF(range, criteria)

The “range” is the range of cells that you want to count, and the “criteria” is the condition that you want to count. In this case, we want to count the number of cells that contain an asterisk, so our criteria is “*”.

For example, if you want to count the number of asterisks in column A, you would enter the following formula into a cell:

=COUNTIF(A:A, “*”)

This will count the number of cells in column A that contain an asterisk.

## Using the LEN and SUBSTITUTE Functions

If you want to count the number of asterisks in a specific cell, you can use the LEN and SUBSTITUTE functions. The LEN function returns the length of a string, and the SUBSTITUTE function replaces a specific character in a string with another character.

### Step 1: Enter the SUBSTITUTE Function

The first step is to enter the SUBSTITUTE function into a cell where you want the result to appear. The syntax for the SUBSTITUTE function is:

=SUBSTITUTE(text, old_text, new_text, [instance_num])

The “text” is the cell that you want to search for the asterisk, the “old_text” is the asterisk that you want to replace, and the “new_text” is an empty string. The “[instance_num]” is optional and specifies which occurrence of the old_text to replace. If you omit this argument, all occurrences of the old_text will be replaced.

For example, if you want to count the number of asterisks in cell A1, you would enter the following formula into a cell:

=SUBSTITUTE(A1, “*”, “”)

This will replace all occurrences of the asterisk in cell A1 with an empty string.

### Step 2: Enter the LEN Function

The second step is to enter the LEN function into a cell where you want the result to appear. The syntax for the LEN function is:

=LEN(text)

The “text” is the cell that you want to count the characters in. In this case, we want to count the number of characters in the cell after we’ve removed all the asterisks.

For example, if you entered the SUBSTITUTE function into cell B1, you would enter the following formula into a cell:

=LEN(B1)

This will count the number of characters in cell B1, which is the number of characters in the original cell minus the number of asterisks.

## Conclusion

Counting the number of asterisks in an Excel spreadsheet is a simple task that can be accomplished using either the COUNTIF function or the LEN and SUBSTITUTE functions. Whether you’re tracking the number of times a certain symbol appears in your data or just curious about how many times you’ve used the asterisk, Excel makes it easy to count the number of asterisks in your spreadsheet.

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