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Summary count with COUNTIF in Excel

This tutorial shows Summary count with COUNTIF in Excel using the example below;




When working with data, a common need is to perform summary calculations that show total counts in different ways. For example, total counts by category, color, size, status, etc. The COUNTIF function is a good way to generate these kinds of totals.

Example problem and solution

In the example shown, we have a small set of order data. All orders are for T-shirts, which come in 3 different colors: red, blue, and black.

Worked Example:   COUNTIFS with multiple criteria and OR logic in Excel

To the left, we are using COUNTIF to provide a breakdown by color. The formula in cell G5 is:


where “colors” is a named range for cells D5:D11. We are using a named range in this case to make the formula easy to copy down the summary table. Alternately, you could use an absolute reference like so:

=COUNTIF($D$5:$D$11,F5) // absolute address option

How this formula works

The COUNTIF function takes two arguments: a range of cells to count, and the criteria to use for counting. In this case we want to count by color, so we have set up a small table that lists all colors in column F. This allows us to use the the color names in column F both for labels, and for the criteria that goes into COUNTIF as the second argument.

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In this case, we are testing equality, so we don’t need to use any logical operators. We can simply enter the named range “color” for range, and a reference to the adjacent cell in column F for the criteria.

Worked Example:   Count cells that contain either x or y in Excel

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