Analyzing large chunks of data often requires to count cells containing specific text. Excel allows us to do it in a simple way. We can use the COUNTIF function to count cells that contain specific text. In this tutorial, we will learn how to count cells that contain specific text.
Figure 1. Example of Counting Cells that Contain Specific Text
- Range: This value is required. It is the range of cells where we want to count the text.
- Text: This value is also required. It is the specific text that we want to cout. Here, the asterisk sign (“*”) represents a wildcard that matches any number of characters.
How the Formula Works
Here, COUNTIF counts the total cells containing the provided text in the range. It matches the content of the cells against the wildcard pattern. This wildcard matches any number of characters. Thus, itl counts all cells containing the text in any position. Excel returns the total number of time the text arrives in the range.
Setting Up Data
The following example uses an employee information data set. Column A, B and C has the employee names, ID and departments.
Figure 2. The Sample Data
To find the total number of employees from the HR department:
- Go to cell F4.
- Assign the formula
=COUNTIF(C2:C6,"*HR*")to cell F4.
- Press Enter.
Figure 3. Applying the Formula to Count Cells Containing Specific Text
This will show the number of employees in the HR department in cell F4.
We can change the previous formula to use the contents of another cell as the text criteria. To find the number of employees in the HR department using the ID’s, we need to use the formula:
Figure 4. Using the Wildcard to Count Cells that Contain Specific Text
This shows the same result as before using the text HR from the cell C2 to look into the ID’s that matches the text HR.
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