COUNTIF function in Microsoft Excel, OpenOffice Calc, Google Sheets, and Apple Numbers counts the number of cells within a range that meets specified criteria.

In simple terms, COUNTIF can count the number of occurrences of specified criteria or conditions.

For a given data of 50 students, you can use COUNTIF Function to find the number of students that achieved marks greater than 75 or want to know the number of students that passed a given test.

The COUNTIF function stands tall as a versatile and indispensable tool for seasoned analysts, students, or business professionals grappling with mountains of data.

It can count occurrences, track trends, and unmask correlations. The COUNTIF function is quite versatile, allowing a wide range of criteria to be used for counting cells.

For example, you can use simple comparison operators (like “>”, “<“, “>=”, “<=”, “=”) to count values greater than, less than, equal to, or between specific numbers. You can also use wildcards (like “*”, “?”) for partial matching, or even count cells based on specific text or dates.

You can also check out other Spreadsheet Functions like AVERAGE Function, CEILING Function, MAX Function, MIN Function, NUMBERTEXT, SpellNumber, and SpellNumber Indian Rupees on our Functions Page.

So, let us figure out how to use the COUNTIF Function in each spreadsheet program.

Table of Contents

## How To Use COUNTIF Function in Microsoft Excel?

Using the COUNTIF function in Microsoft Excel is straightforward. It allows you to count the number of cells within a specified range that meet a given condition. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to use the COUNTIF function:

- Enter the data in the cells or open an existing Excel worksheet with the data you want to analyze.
- Choose a cell where you want to display the result of the COUNTIF function =COUNTIF(range, criteria). For example, if you want to count the number of cells containing the text “apple” in the range A1 to A10, the formula would be =COUNTIF(A1:A10, “apple”).
- After entering the formula, press the Enter key.
- The result will be displayed in the selected cell, representing the count of cells that meet the specified condition.
- If you want to apply the same COUNTIF formula to other cells, you can use the AutoFill handle (a small square at the bottom-right corner of the selected cell) to drag and fill the formula to adjacent cells.

Excel allows up to 255 arguments in the COUNTIF function. This means you can specify up to 255 different criteria to count cells that meet each of those conditions within a specified range.

### SYNTAX

=COUNTIF(range, criteria)

Where:

**Range:** The range of cells in which you want to apply the criteria and count the occurrences.

**Criteria:** The condition or criteria that you want to use for counting cells within the specified range. Criteria aren’t case-sensitive.

**Cell References:** You can also insert a cell instead of text. For example, =COUNTIF(A1:A10, A2).

**Cell Ranges:** It also allows you to perform calculations. For example, =COUNTIF(A1:A10, A2) – =COUNTIF(A1:A10, A3).

**Special Characters:** Using “?” helps to count the number of cells that have exactly a specified number of characters. For example =COUNTIF(A1:A10,”?????es”)

## How To Use COUNTIF Function in Google Sheets?

Using the COUNTIF function in Google Sheets is quite similar to using it in Microsoft Excel. The COUNTIF function in Google Sheets allows you to count the number of cells within a specified range that meet a given condition.

- Enter the data in the cells or open an existing Google Sheets document with the data you want to work with.
- Choose a cell where you want to display the result of the COUNTIF function. In the selected cell, type the formula using the COUNTIF function’s syntax.
- Replace this with the range of cells in which you want to apply the criteria and count the occurrences.
- Replace this with the condition or criteria that you want to use for counting cells within the specified range.
- After entering the formula, press the Enter key. The result will be displayed in the selected cell, representing the count of cells that meet the specified condition.
- Similar to Microsoft Excel, you can use the AutoFill handle (a small square at the bottom-right corner of the selected cell) to drag and fill the formula to adjacent cells if you want to apply the same COUNTIF formula to multiple cells.

Moreover, if you want to count cells based on different criteria, you can easily modify the criteria part of the COUNTIF function. For example, you can count cells that contain numbers greater than 100 or cells that contain specific text patterns.

In Google Sheets, the maximum number of arguments in the COUNTIF function is also 255. You can provide up to 255 different criteria to count cells that meet each of those conditions within a specified range.

### SYNTAX

=COUNTIF(range; criteria)

Where:

**Range:** The range of cells in which you want to apply the criteria and count the occurrences.

**Criteria:** The condition or criteria that you want to use for counting cells within the specified range. Criteria aren’t case-sensitive.

**Cell References:** You can also insert a cell instead of text. For example, =COUNTIF(A1:A10, A2).

**Cell Ranges:** It also allows you to perform calculations. For example, =COUNTIF(A1:A10, A2) – =COUNTIF(A1:A10, A3).

**Special Characters:** Using “?” helps to count the number of cells that have exactly a specified number of characters. For example =COUNTIF(A1:A10,”?????es”)

## How To Use COUNTIF Function in OpenOffice Calc?

Using the COUNTIF function in OpenOffice Calc is very similar to using it in Microsoft Excel and Google Sheets. The COUNTIF function in OpenOffice Calc allows you to count the number of cells within a specified range that meet a given condition.

- Enter the data in the cells or open an existing OpenOffice Calc document with the data you want to analyze.
- Choose a cell where you want to display the result of the COUNTIF function.
- In OpenOffice Calc, you use semicolons (;) instead of commas (,) to separate arguments in functions.
- In the selected cell, type the formula using the COUNTIF function’s syntax.
- Replace this with the range of cells in which you want to apply the criteria and count the occurrences.
- Replace this with the condition or criteria that you want to use for counting cells within the specified range.
- After entering the formula, press the Enter key. The result will be displayed in the selected cell, representing the count of cells that meet the specified condition.
- Use the AutoFill handle (a small square at the bottom-right corner of the selected cell) to drag and fill the formula to adjacent cells if you want to apply the same COUNTIF formula to multiple cells.

OpenOffice Calc will automatically update the count if any changes are made to the data or criteria, making it a powerful tool for data analysis and manipulation.

Additionally, OpenOffice Calc supports up to 30 arguments in the COUNTIF function. This means you can specify up to 30 different criteria to count cells that meet each of those conditions within a specified range.

### SYNTAX

=COUNTIF(range; criteria)

Where:

**Range:** The range of cells in which you want to apply the criteria and count the occurrences.

**Criteria:** The condition or criteria that you want to use for counting cells within the specified range. Criteria aren’t case-sensitive.

**Cell References:** You can also insert a cell instead of text. For example, =COUNTIF(A1:A10; A2).

**Cell Ranges:** It also allows you to perform calculations. For example, =COUNTIF(A1:A10; A2) – =COUNTIF(A1:A10, A3).

**Special Characters:** Using “?” helps to count the number of cells that have exactly a specified number of characters. For example =COUNTIF(A1:A10;”?????es”)

## How To Use the COUNTIF Function MacNumbers?

Using the COUNTIF function in the Mac spreadsheet application “Numbers” is similar to using it in Microsoft Excel, Google Sheets, and OpenOffice Calc. The COUNTIF function in Numbers allows you to count the number of cells within a specified range that meet a given condition.

- Enter the data in the cells or open an existing Numbers document with the data you want to analyze.
- Choose a cell where you want to display the result of the COUNTIF function.
- In the selected cell, type the formula using the COUNTIF function’s syntax:
- Replace this with the range of cells in which you want to apply the criteria and count the occurrences.
- Replace this with the condition or criteria that you want to use for counting cells within the specified range.
- After entering the formula, press the Enter key. The result will be displayed in the selected cell, representing the count of cells that meet the specified condition.

Moreover, Numbers also supports the AutoFill feature. You can use the small square at the bottom-right corner of the selected cell to drag and fill the formula to adjacent cells if you want to apply the same COUNTIF formula to multiple cells.

In Mac Numbers, the maximum number of arguments in the COUNTIF function is also 30. You can provide up to 30 different criteria to count cells that meet each of those conditions within a specified range.

### SYNTAX

=COUNTIF(range, criteria)

**Range:** The range of cells in which you want to apply the criteria and count the occurrences.

**Criteria:** The condition or criteria that you want to use for counting cells within the specified range. Criteria aren’t case-sensitive.

**Cell References:** You can also insert a cell instead of text. For example, =COUNTIF(A1:A10, A2).

**Cell Ranges:** It also allows you to perform calculations. For example, =COUNTIF(A1:A10, A2) – =COUNTIF(A1:A10, A3).

**Special Characters:** Using “?” helps to count the number of cells that have exactly a specified number of characters. For example =COUNTIF(A1:A10,”?????es”)

## Possible Errors

When using the COUNTIF function in spreadsheet applications like Microsoft Excel, Google Sheets, OpenOffice Calc, or Mac Numbers, you may encounter certain errors. Understanding these potential errors will help you troubleshoot issues with your formulas.

Here are some possible errors you might encounter with the COUNTIF function:

**#NAME? Error:** This error occurs when the function name is misspelled or not recognized by the spreadsheet application. Double-check that you have typed the COUNTIF function correctly.

**#VALUE! Error:** The #VALUE! error occurs when one of the function arguments is of the wrong data type. For example, you might have provided a text criterion where a number was expected or vice versa.

**#REF! Error:** The #REF! error indicates that the cell range specified in the COUNTIF function is invalid or has been deleted. Check that the range reference is correct.

**#DIV/0! Error:** The #DIV/0! error can occur if you divide by zero while using a mathematical operation as part of the COUNTIF criteria.

**#N/A Error:** The #N/A error occurs when the function can’t find a value that matches the specified criterion. This could happen when searching for a specific value or when using wildcard characters that don’t match any cells.

**#NUM! Error:** The #NUM! error can occur if the function arguments are not within the valid range, or if there is an issue with a numerical value in the formula.

**Circular Reference Warning: **If the COUNTIF function references the cell it is placed in or causes a circular reference (references itself indirectly), you may encounter a circular reference warning or error.

**Incorrect Criteria Format:** Ensure that you provide the correct criteria format based on the data type you are comparing. For example, using quotation marks around text criteria but omitting them for numeric criteria.

Thus, to avoid these errors, double-check your formulas, ensure the correct syntax, verify the ranges and criteria used, and be mindful of the data types. If you encounter an error, use the built-in error-checking features of your spreadsheet application to identify and resolve the problem.

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