# Counting String Occurrences in Odd Rows

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated June 24, 2023)
This tip applies to Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Excel in Microsoft 365, and 2021

Jeff has a worksheet with quite a bit of text in it, in column C. He would like to count occurrences of a specific string within column C, but only for odd rows (1, 3, 5, etc.) in the data. The string he's looking for may not be the entire cell contents, and it may occur multiple times within a particular cell. (If it occurs 2 or 3 times in a cell, it should count as 2 or 3 occurrences.) He wonders if there is a formulaic way to do this, without resorting to a macro.

One way to approach this is through the use of a helper column. For instance, let's say that you can use column D as a helper column, and the first cell containing data is cell C2. (Perhaps cell C1 has a column heading in it.) You could use the following formula in cell D2:

```=IF(MOD(ROW(),2)=1,(LEN(C2)-LEN(SUBSTITUTE(C2,"my text","")))/LEN("my text"),"")
```

All you would need to do is replace the search string ("my text") with whatever you are searching for. The LEN function is used twice, first to find the length of whatever is in cell C2 and then to subtract from it the length of the text with all instances of "my text" removed. This value is then divided by the length of what you are searching for, resulting in how many instances of the search text was in the cell. Note that the IF function ensures that a numeric value is returned only if the row is an odd-numbered row.

You can copy this formula down as many rows as necessary, and then sum the column. The result is the number of times the string appear in odd-numbered rows.

If the layout of your worksheet does not allow you to use a helper column, then you can rely on a formula that works on arrays of data. Here's one that does the trick:

```=SUMPRODUCT((LEN(C:C)-LEN(SUBSTITUTE(C:C,"my text","")))/LEN("my text")*ISODD(ROW(C:C)))
```

This formula essentially does the same as the previous formula, except that the SUMPRODUCT function does the calculation internally for each cell in column C. You should realize that since the formula examines all of column C, that means if your search text ("my text") occurs within any non-data cells in the column (such as a column header), then it will also be included in the total returned.

If you do decide to use a macro, you could easily create a user-defined function that examines a range of cells and determines the count. The following is an example of the type of macro you could use:

```Function CountInst(rSource As Range, sSearch As String, bCaseInsensitive As Boolean) As Integer
Dim c As Range
Dim iCount As Integer
Dim sTemp1 As String
Dim sTemp2 As String

sTemp2 = sSearch
If bCaseInsensitive Then sTemp2 = LCase(sTemp2)
iCount = 0

For Each c In rSource
If c.Row Mod 2 = 1 Then
sTemp1 = c.Text
If bCaseInsensitive Then sTemp1 = LCase(sTemp1)

iCount = iCount + (Len(sTemp1) - _
Len(Replace(sTemp1, sTemp2, ""))) / Len(sTemp2)
End If
Next c

CountInst = iCount
End Function
```

To use this, all you need to do is provide a range, what you want to search for, and whether you want the matching to be case insensitive or not. For instance, if you want to search for "my text" and have the case not matter, you would use the following:

```=CountInst(C2:C99,"my text",TRUE)
```

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (1514) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Excel in Microsoft 365, and 2021.

##### Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

##### MORE FROM ALLEN

Copying Red Text to a New Document

Need to copy all the red text in your document to a different document? There are several ways you can approach the task; ...

Discover More

Colors and Fonts for Worksheet Tabs

Changing the color used on a worksheet tab is easy. Just follow the three steps in this tip.

Discover More

Quick Screen Clear

Do you work with a lot of open windows at the same time? If so, you'll love this way to easily focus on only one of those ...

Discover More

Save Time and Supercharge Excel! Automate virtually any routine task and save yourself hours, days, maybe even weeks. Then, learn how to make Excel do things you thought were simply impossible! Mastering advanced Excel macros has never been easier. Check out Excel 2010 VBA and Macros today!

##### More ExcelTips (ribbon)

Putting Amounts in Month Columns

Sometimes putting together a formula can be a challenge. Part of the process, though, is examining the data with which ...

Discover More

Removing Dashes from ISBN Numbers

ISBN numbers are used to denote a unique identifier for a published book. If you remove the dashes included in an ISBN, ...

Discover More

Extracting File Names from a Path

If you have a full path designation for the location of a file on your hard drive, you may want a way for Excel to pull ...

Discover More
##### Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] (all 7 characters, in the sequence shown) in your comment text. Youâ€™ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is 3 + 0?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your commentâ€”just use the simple form above!)

##### This Site

Got a version of Excel that uses the ribbon interface (Excel 2007 or later)? This site is for you! If you use an earlier version of Excel, visit our ExcelTips site focusing on the menu interface.