Counting Shaded Cells

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated May 2, 2016)

Excel allows you to apply all sorts of formatting to the cells in your workbook. One of the things you can do is to "shade" cells using a pattern or color. (You do this on the Patterns tab of the Format Cells dialog box.) At some point you may want to know how many cells in a range are shaded.

There is no worksheet formula in Excel that will allow you to count shaded cells. Instead, you must develop your own macro to do this. The following macro is an example of a way to approach this problem. It counts the number of shaded cells in the range of A1 through J20, and places the count in cell A1.

Sub CountColor()
    Dim irow, icol As Integer

    Cells(1, 1) = 0
    For irow = 1 To 20
        For icol = 1 To 10
            If Cells(irow, icol).Interior.ColorIndex _
              <> xlColorIndexNone Then
                Cells(1, 1) = Cells(1, 1) + 1
            End If
        Next icol
    Next irow
End Sub

Notice that the heart of the routine is the comparison that is done between the ColorIndex of each cell and the pre-defined xlColorIndexNone constant. If they are not equal, then the cell has been shaded in some way.

This same basic technique can be easily adapted to a custom function. Notice in the following that the same comparison is done on a cell-by-cell basis:

Function FindShades(a As Range) As Integer
    FindShades = 0
    For Each c In a
        If c.Interior.ColorIndex <> xlColorIndexNone Then
            FindShades = FindShades + 1
        End If
    Next c
End Function

In order to use this function, simply use it in a cell, as a formula, and specify a range in the formula:

= FindShades(B7:E52)

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (2059) 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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