The AREAS function is a really handy tool to have in your arsenal when you’re working with data in Excel. It returns the number of areas in a given reference as a number. And it takes just one argument, called reference. Let’s take a look at how to use it!
What Does AREAS Do?
AREAS returns the number of areas in a given reference as a number. An area is one of many things:
-An individual cell, such as A5
– A row or column such as F:F or 2:2
– A group of cells, such as B19:E25
This is definitely one of the more straightforward functions in Excel. You will not find many uses for this function, but we want to make sure and cover everything there is to know.
Where To Find It?
The AREAS function can be found in the Formulas tab of Excel under Lookup & Reference
You can use Formula Builder to walk you through the formula step by step.
You can manually type the formula into any cell.
- reference – this can be a single cell reference, a range, or multiple cell references/ranges separated by commas
Let’s Take a Look at an Example
These may be some of the most straightforward examples we ever do on this blog.
First, we will use AREAS to count one cell. The formula is simply the cell reference nested within AREAS or =AREAS(D4). This returns a count of 1, for 1 area.
Second, we will use AREAS to count one range. The formula is simply the range reference nested within AREAS or =AREAS(D4:E4). This returns a count of 1, for 1 area.
Lastly, we will use AREAS to count two whole ranges. Really getting crazy with these examples. The formula is the two range references nested within AREAS or =AREAS((D4:E4,D6:E6)). Keep in mind if you are counting multiple areas, you need to double the parenthesis or the formula will return an error. This returns a count of 2, for 2 area.
Tips and Tricks
I got a #NULL error?
This means that your arguments weren’t filled out in the correct format. You may have entered A 4 instead of A4 or B2C4 instead of B2:C4. Check your entry and try again.
Excel says I didn’t enter enough arguments
Make sure to add two sets of parentheses if you are adding more than one reference separated by commas. It’s a little different than normal formatting but it works.
The AREAS function doesn’t do much, but it’s straightforward and easy to use. I hope this quick walk-through helped expand your knowledge, not many people will know this function exists.
Have any questions? Are there other topics you would like us to cover? Leave a comment below and let us know! Make sure to subscribe to our Newsletter to receive exclusive financial news right to your inbox.