How to Use Microsoft Excel COUNTIF

By Techwalla Contributor

When you have a long list of data, you may have a need to find out how many times a particular word appears within a column or row of data. Microsoft Excel includes the Countif feature for that very purpose. The feature lets you assign the parameters of what cells to count.

Step 1

Open or create a Microsoft Excel worksheet with columns or rows of text in which you want to tally the number of cells containing a single word and nothing else. For example, you could have a column labeled "Trip Date" and another column labeled "City." Let's say you want to find out how many times you went to Detroit in a month.

Step 2

Click the cell at the bottom of the City column. Although you can place the Countif formula in any location, for this example, we will be placing it beneath the City column to count the occurrences of the word Detroit.

Step 3

Type "=COUNTIF(range,criteria)," where the range equals the cell range in which you want to count and the criteria equals the word. For example, you could type the following to count the number of times Detroit appears between cells B2 and B12:=COUNTIF(B2:B12,"Detroit")

Step 4

Press "Enter" to get your result.

Tips & Warnings

  • Instead of listing the word in your Countif statement, you can list a cell location in which that word appears, such as: =COUNTIF(B2:B12,B3).