Suppose your team members enter their project hours in a worksheet, and you want to find out how many of them have entered values for the week. To do this, you count only cells that are not blank. To count nonblank cells, use the COUNTA function.
The example may be easier to understand if you copy it to a blank worksheet.
How to copy an example
Create a blank workbook or worksheet.
Select the example in the Help topic.
Note: Do not select the row or column headers.
Selecting an example from Help
In the worksheet, select cell A1, and press CTRL+V.
To switch between viewing the results and viewing the formulas that return the results, press CTRL+` (grave accent), or on the Formulas tab, in the Formula Auditing group, click the Show Formulas button.
The example in this topic uses the COUNTA function, which counts the number of cells in a range that contain any kind of data, whether it is text, a number, a date, a space character, or even an error.
More information about counting
To count cells that contain only numbers, duplicate values, the number of cells in a range, or other criteria, see the topics in the See Also section.