## Summary

The Excel LEN function returns the length of a given text string as the number of characters. LEN will also count characters in numbers, but number formatting is not included.

## Purpose

Get the length of text.

## Return value

Number of characters

## Syntax

``=LEN(text)``
• text - The text for which to calculate length.

## How to use

The LEN function returns the number of characters in a given text string. LEN takes just one argument, text. LEN counts the number of characters in text, including space and punctuation, and returns a number as the result. If text is an empty string ("") or text is a reference to an empty cell, LEN returns zero. LEN will also count characters in numbers, but number formatting is not included.

### Examples

LEN returns the count of characters in a text string:

``````=LEN("apple") // returns 5
``````

Space characters are included in the count:

``````=LEN("apple ") // returns 6
``````

LEN also works with numeric values, but number formatting is not included:

``````=LEN(1000) // returns 4
=LEN(\$1,000) // returns 4
``````

The LEN function often appears in other formulas that manipulate text in some way. For example, it can be used with the RIGHT and FIND functions to extract text to the right of a given character:

``````=RIGHT(A1,LEN(A1)-FIND(char,A1)) // get text to right of char
``````

FIND returns the position of the character, which is subtracted from length, calculated with LEN. RIGHT returns the text to the right of that position.  Full explanation here.

### Notes

• LEN returns the length of text as a number.
• LEN works with numbers, but number formatting is not included.
• LEN returns zero if a value is empty.

Author

### 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.