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Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. If you are using a later version (Excel 2007 or later), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for later versions of Excel, click here: Counting Unique Values.
Sometimes you need to know the number of unique values in a range of cells. For instance, suppose that an instructor was teaching the following classes:
104-120 104-101 104-119 104-120
In this case there are three unique values. There is no intuitive worksheet function that will return a count of unique values, which makes one think that a user-defined function would be the logical approach. However, you can use an array formula to very easily derive the desired information. Follow these steps:
That's it! The cell now contains the number of unique name values in the specified range. This approach is not case-sensitive, so if you have two values that differ only in their capitalization (ThisName vs. THISNAME), they are both counted as a single unique value. In addition, there can be no blank cells in the range. (Having a blank cell returns a #DIV/0 error from the formula.)
If your particular needs require that your list contain blanks (but you don't want them counted) and you want the evaluation to be case-sensitive, then you must turn to a macro. The following macro, CountUnique, will do the trick:
Function CountUnique(ByVal MyRange As Range) As Integer Dim Cell As Range Dim J As Integer Dim iNumCells As Integer Dim iUVals As Integer Dim sUCells() As String iNumCells = MyRange.Count ReDim sUCells(iNumCells) As String iUVals = 0 For Each Cell In MyRange If Cell.Text > "" Then For J = 1 To iUVals If sUCells(J) = Cell.Text Then Exit For End If Next J If J > iUVals Then iUVals = iUVals + 1 sUCells(iUVals) = Cell.Text End If End If Next Cell CountUnique = iUVals End Function
Simply put an equation similar to the following in a cell:
The value returned is the number of unique values, not counting blanks, in the range.
ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (2337) applies to Microsoft Excel 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. You can find a version of this tip for the ribbon interface of Excel (Excel 2007 and later) here: Counting Unique Values.
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