Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated October 22, 2022)
This tip applies to Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Excel in Microsoft 365, and 2021
The formula =SUMIF(B1:B100,"Current",D1:D100) provides the sum of the values in column D, provided the corresponding cell in column B contains the text "Current". What Kenneth actually needs, though, is a count of the values in column D when column B contains "Current". (The count of values in D may well be different than the number of instances of "Current" in B.) He wishes it was as simple as changing SUMIF to COUNTIF, but that produces an error.
The reason the error occurs is because SUMIF requires three parameters and COUNTIF requires only two. Thus, if you simply replace SUMIF with COUNTIF, then you'll get an error. Instead, you could use COUNTIF in this way:
This will not give you an error, but it also won't give you a correct answer. Kenneth wants a count of the number of cells containing values in the range D1:D100, but only if the corresponding cell in column B contains the text "Current." The COUNTIF formula doesn't even take column D into effect; it only counts the number of cells in the range B1:B100 that contain the word "Current."
The solution is to use the COUNTIFS function, instead. This function allows you to check multiple conditions in order to derive a count. In this case, the following version would work:
This formula counts the number of values in D1:D100 that are greater than zero. (Well, it also only counts them if B1:B100 contains "current.") This works because empty cells or cells that contain text are considered by COUNTIFS to be equivalent to 0. Note, as well, that the function is case-insensitive when it comes to matching: "current" will also match "Current" or any combination of uppercase and lowercase letters in the word.
If your cells might contain negative values, then you should try this variation, instead:
The drawback is that this method also includes in the count any cells that contain text.
You could also use the following formula:
Again, this one includes text values in the count. If you want to ignore the text values, then this variation works great:
The following formula can also be used, provided you enter it as an array formula (press Ctrl+Shift+Enter):
There are also other ways you could derive the total you need. One method would be to use the DCOUNT function (which counts based upon multiple criteria), but that approach requires more setup than the formulas already described.
ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (13433) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Excel in Microsoft 365, and 2021.
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