Counting Colors of Cells

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated August 10, 2019)
This tip applies to Excel 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003

Besides using values and text in your worksheets, Excel allows you to use colors to either enliven or provide meaning to your data. If you use colors in your worksheets, you may wonder if there is a way to count the number of cells that are formatted with a particular fill color. There is no intrinsic function in Excel to perform such a task, but you can certainly make one with a user-defined function. The following is an example of one that will count the number of cells in a range that are formatted with a yellow fill color:

Function CountYellow(MyRange As Range)
    Dim iCount As Integer
    iCount = 0
    For Each cell In MyRange
        If cell.Interior.ColorIndex = 6 Then
            iCount = iCount + 1
        End If
    Next cell
    CountYellow = iCount
End Function

To use the function, all you need to do is use a formula such as the following in a cell of your worksheet:


This example returns the number of cells in the range of A1:A99 that use the yellow fill color.

Notice in the CountYellow function that the cells are examined to see if the ColorIndex property is equal to 6. In other VBA coding you may be used to seeing near-English constants that define colors. In this case, the normal color constants don't work. Instead, the ColorIndex property works based on a set of index values into a particular palette of colors. If you are interested in seeing the various index values used for the different colors, take a look at the VBA online help file for the ColorIndex property.

Once you know how to walk through the cells in a range in this manner, it is easy to perform other types of operations based on the color used to fill cells in the range. For instance, instead of simply counting the number of cells, you could add up the values of the cells in the range, or you could find the average of the values in the range. All you need to do is to make the appropriate changes in the code in the innermost If ... End If structure.


If you would like to know how to use the macros described on this page (or on any other page on the ExcelTips sites), I've prepared a special page that includes helpful information. Click here to open that special page in a new browser tab.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (1978) applies to Microsoft Excel 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...


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