The Excel AREAS function returns the number of areas in a given reference. For example, =AREAS((A1:C1,A2:C2)) returns 2. Multiple references must be enclosed in an extra set of parentheses.


Get the number of areas in a reference.

Return value 

A number representing number of areas.


  • reference - Reference(s) to a cell or range of cells.

How to use 

The AREAS function returns the number of areas in a given reference as a number. In this context, areas mean separate contiguous ranges. AREAS takes just one argument, called referenceReference can include more than one reference, but you must separate multiple references with a comma and wrap them in an extra set of parentheses. Otherwise, Excel will think the commas indicate multiple arguments and generate an error about entering too many arguments.


The formulas below show how the AREAS function can be configured. Notice the first example does not need an extra set of parentheses, since there is just one reference). However, the examples following do need the extra set of parentheses.

=AREAS(A1:C1) // returns 1
=AREAS((A1:C1,A2:C2)) // returns 2
=AREAS((F17:F19,J16:J18,I8)) // returns 3
Dave Bruns Profile Picture

AuthorMicrosoft Most Valuable Professional Award

Dave Bruns

Hi - I'm Dave Bruns, and I run Exceljet with my wife, Lisa. Our goal is to help you work faster in Excel. We create short videos, and clear examples of formulas, functions, pivot tables, conditional formatting, and charts.