Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Excel in Office 365. If you are using an earlier version (Excel 2003 or earlier), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for earlier versions of Excel, click here: Getting a Count of Unique Names.
by Allen Wyatt
(last updated November 10, 2018)
John has a worksheet that he uses for registration of attendees at a conference. Column A has a list of each person attending, and column B has the company represented by each attendee. Each company can have multiple people attend. John can easily figure out how many individuals are coming to the conference; it is simply the number of rows in column A (minus any header rows). The more difficult task is to determine how many companies are going to be represented at the conference.
There are a couple of ways to determine the desired count. First, if there are no blank cells in column B, you can use an array formula (entered by Ctrl+Shift+Enter) such as the following:
If there are blanks in the range (B2:B50 in this case), then the array formula will return a #DIV/0! error. If that is the case, the array formula needs to be changed to the following:
If you prefer to not use an array formula, you can add regular formulas to column C to do the count. First, sort the table of data by the contents of column B. That way the data will be in company order. Then add a formula such as the following to cell C2 (assuming you have a header in row 1):
Copy the formula down through all the rest of the cells in column C, and then do a sum on the column. The sum represents the number of unique companies attending, since a 1 only appears in column C when the company name changes.
Of course, if you need to find the names of all the companies represented at the conference, you can use Excel's filtering capabilities. Follow these steps:
Figure 1. The Advanced Filter dialog box.
You now can easily see how many companies are being represented, along with who those companies are.
ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (7562) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Excel in Office 365. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Excel here: Getting a Count of Unique Names.
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