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Counting Cells According to Case

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 Cells According to Case.

If you are using Excel to analyze a group of cells containing text, you may want to determine the number of cells that contain uppercase, the number that contain lowercase, and the number that contain mixed case. There are two ways you can approach this task: Using a regular worksheet formula, or defining your own user-defined function.

If the text you want to evaluate is in column A, starting at cell A1, you could use the following formula in cell B1:


The formula checks to see if there is anything in A1. If there is, then it uses the EXACT function to compare the contents to various conversions of the cell's contents. The formula returns an empty string if cell A1 is empty or the words Upper, Lower, or Mixed.

Copy the formula down column B as far as you need to, and then you can use the following type of formula to determine the count:


To find the count of lowercase or mixed-case cells, replace "Upper" with "Lower" or "Mixed".

Obviously, using formulas in this manner involves adding a column to your worksheet. There is another formula approach you can use that doesn't involve the use of an intermediate column in this manner. Consider the following formula, which returns the number of cells in the range A1:A100 that contain only uppercase letters:


A variation on this formula can be used to return the number of lowercase cells. The only thing that is changed in the following is the use of the LOWER function instead of the UPPER function:


To determine cells containing mixed case, you need to come up with a mix of the two SUMPRODUCT-based formulas:


There are some drawbacks to these formulas, drawbacks that aren't evident in the earlier formulas. First, if a cell contains a numeric value, then these formulas count the cell as uppercase. Second, if a cell contains an error value, then the formula returns an error.

If you have the need to count case quite often, then you would probably be better served by creating a user-defined function that does the counting for you. There are many ways that such a function could be written, but the general guidelines are the following:

  • Step through each cell of a range
  • Determine if the cell is upper, lower, or mixed case
  • Increment some counter
  • Return a value

The following macro is one example of how the above can be implemented:

Function CountCase(rng As Range, sCase As String) As Long
    Dim vValue
    Dim lUpper As Long
    Dim lMixed As Long
    Dim lLower As Long
    Dim rCell As Range
    lUpper = 0
    lLower = 0
    lMixed = 0

    For Each rCell In rng
        If Not IsError(rCell.Value) Then
            vValue = rCell.Value
            If VarType(vValue) = vbString _
                And Trim(vValue) <> "" Then
                If vValue = UCase(vValue) Then
                    lUpper = lUpper + 1
                ElseIf vValue = LCase(vValue) Then
                    lLower = lLower + 1
                    lMixed = lMixed + 1
                End If
            End If
        End If
    Select Case UCase(sCase)
        Case "U"
            CountCase = lUpper
        Case "L"
            CountCase = lLower
        Case "M"
            CountCase = lMixed
        Case Else
            CountCase = CVErr(xlErrValue)
    End Select
End Function

Determining if a cell is upper, lower, or mixed case is obviously the crux of a macro such as this. Making such a determination uses the same process as was done in the worksheet formulas: compare the contents of the cell to the uppercase or lowercase conversion of those contents. In this macro the value of the cell (vValue) is compared to vValue transformed with either the UCase or LCase function.

The function also ignores cells that it doesn't make sense to evaluate. It ignores cells containing numeric values, Boolean values, error values, empty cells, and cells that contain only spaces. If a numeric value is formatted as text, then the function counts that cell as uppercase. To use this user-defined function, use a formula such as the following in your worksheet:

=COUNTCASE(A1:A100, "L")

For the first argument you use the range you want evaluated. The second argument is a single character—L, M, or U—indicating which count you want returned. If you use some other value for the second argument, then the function returns an error.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (3212) 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 Cells According to Case.

Related Tips:

Comprehensive VBA Guide Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) is the language used for writing macros in all Office programs. This complete guide shows both professionals and novices how to master VBA in order to customize the entire Office suite for their needs. Check out Mastering VBA for Office 2010 today!


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Comments for this tip:

Rick Rothstein    18 Jun 2016, 23:34
Here is a more compact way to write your CountCase function...

Function CountCase(Rng As Range, sCase As String) As Long
  Dim rCell As Range
  For Each rCell In Rng
    CountCase = CountCase - (sCase = Choose(4 + (rCell.Value Like "*[a-z]*") + _
                       2 * (rCell.Value Like "*[A-Z]*"), "M", "U", "L", ""))
End Function

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