Google Sheets – Count cells containing specific text

If you’re using Google Sheets and you want to count the occurrences of a certain letter or word, there’s a pretty easy function that you can use.

Looking for a word and only that word

In this first set of data in the image above and also in this linked spreadsheet, we will be counting any cells that contain the word “Yellow” and only that word. To count the occurrences of the word yellow in the range B2 to B9 you can use the count COUNTIF function as such: =COUNTIF(B2:B9,"yellow"). It performs a conditional count. In this case, only if the cell or ranges of cells is equal to Yellow. Yellow is not case-sensitive so this is going to pick up three instances even though B7 is not capitalized. If the COUNTIF technique is doing everything you need, then you’re done and there is no need to try anything more involved.

Looking for a word occurring anywhere a cell

COUNTIF with wildcard
COUNTIF with wildcard

Looking at this second set of data, things will get a little bit more complicated. We are looking for a certain word that occurs anywhere in any of these cells. First, you want to use COUNTIF again and give it a range =COUNTIF(C2:C9, "*Yellow*"). For this example, the range will be C2 to C9. If it has the word yellow and anything before which is what asterisk means, and anything after it which is the second asterisk, then it should be counted. It just has to have yellow in some part of it. Anything can be nothing so it can start or end with yellow too. This function is also counting 3 because of the yellow plane, the yellow car, and the little yellow boat.

Using a plugin

As an alternative to the options above, you may want a plugin to do the heavy lifting for you. I like to use a plugin called Power Tools. This will give you a menu option with, among other things, advanced Find and Replace features. This will give you a list of all the occurrences of a word in your spreadsheet, but it won’t give you a count of them. Depending on the size of the spreadsheet, this may be the preferable option.

The Find and Replace Menu
Find and Replace Menu

I hope that was helpful and now you know the formula for counting any occurrences of any word that you’re looking for.

 Live examples in Sheets

Go to this spreadsheet for examples counting specific text that you can study and use anywhere you would like.

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Column of numbers

Google Sheets – Count cells greater or less than an amount

If you’re using Google Sheets and you have a column of data in which you want to count the number of items that are greater or less than a certain amount, there are a couple of small nuances to it, but generally, it’s pretty easy.

Column of numbers
Column of numbers

Column of numbers with COUNT function
Numbers with a count

To perform this count using the data in the images above, we’ll be using the COUNTIF function in cell C11. This is a function that’s going to count a range if a certain criteria is met.

  • Place your cursor in cell C11 and type =COUNTIF(C3:C9,">30000"). The C3 is the start of the range and C9 is the end.
  • After you type the range into the function, enter a comma. That lets Google Sheets know that you are done with the range.
  • Then, enter the criteria surround by quotes. We’re going to do anything greater than 30,000. Don’t put a comma in your 30000 or it’s going to think it’s text instead of number.

After you entered the formula, you can see there are four items over 30,000 and this counted them. Easy as pie.

Video explanation


 Live examples in Sheets

Go to this spreadsheet for examples of that you can study and use anywhere you would like.