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 Employees in Classes.

Counting Employees in Classes

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated November 20, 2014)

Beth was looking for a way to determine how many employees had taken at least ten classes that were offered at her company. She set up Excel so that column A (beginning at A2) contained employee names, and column B (beginning at B2) contained class names. When an employee took a class, their name was entered in column A, and the name of the class they took was placed in column B. Thus, column A would contain multiple instances of each employee's name, and column B would contain multiple instances of class names.

The question of how to determine when an employee had taken ten classes can best be answered by using the COUNTIF function. For instance, the following formula could be entered in each cell of column C:

=IF(COUNTIF(A:A,A2)>9,"10 classes or more","")

In order to use the formula correctly, this particular instance would be placed in cell C2 and then copied down in the rest of column C's cells. This causes the A2 reference in the formula to change so that it always references the cell two columns to its immediate left. (The formula in C2 references A2, the formula in C3 references A3, etc.)

Using this formula, when a particular person has taken their tenth class—meaning that their name appears in column A for the tenth time—then column C fills up with the phrase "10 classes or more" next to each class that particular person took. This is great, except when a bunch of different employees start crossing the ten-class threshold. Then column C starts to look cluttered.

To overcome the clutter, a variation on the above approach is to use the following formula in the cells of column C:

=IF(COUNTIF($A$2:A2,A2)>9,"10 classes or more","")

In this instance, the COUNTIF function doesn't look at every cell in column A; instead it looks at the cells in column A that are in rows less than or equal to the row in which the formula occurs. Thus, if this formula was in row 8, then COUNTIF would only look at rows 2 through 8 in doing its count. The result is that the phrase "10 classes or more" only appears in column C when a particular employee has passed the ten-class mark. It will not appear for instances where the employee was taking their first, second, third, and up to their ninth classes.

Finally, the employee class table can be made just a bit more fancy, and you can see exactly how many classes each employee has taken. If columns A and B still contain names and classes, you could place a single instance of each employee name in the first rows of column D, leaving column C blank. In column E you can place the following formula to the right of each employee name:

=COUNTIF(A:A,D2)

The result is that column E contains the number of instances of the name in column D that appears in column A. In other words, you have a count of how many classes each employee has taken. You could then use conditional formatting on the cells in column D so that they are shown in red if the count in column E is 10 or more.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (2552) 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 Employees in Classes.

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. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Getting Rid of Blank Labels in a Filtered Merge

If you are filtering a mail merge in Excel, and you get blank labels in the printout in Word, chances are good that something ...

Discover More

Text Truncated in PivotTable

When you create a PivotTable based on data that contains lots of text, you may be surprised to find that your text is ...

Discover More

Merge and Center Not Available

What are you to do if you are trying to format a worksheet, only to find out that one of the tools you need is not available? ...

Discover More

Excel Smarts for Beginners! Featuring the friendly and trusted For Dummies style, this popular guide shows beginners how to get up and running with Excel while also helping more experienced users get comfortable with the newest features. Check out Excel 2013 For Dummies today!

MORE EXCELTIPS (MENU)

Stopping a Formula from Updating References

Insert or delete a column, and Excel automatically updates references within formulas that are affected by the change. If you ...

Discover More

Referencing the Last Six Items in a Formula

If you have a list of data in a column, you may want to determine an average of whatever the last few items are in the ...

Discover More

Using Named Formulas Across Workbooks

You can use the naming capabilities of Excel to name both ranges and formulas. Accessing that named information in a workbook ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments for this tip:

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is nine minus 3?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


This Site

Got a version of Excel that uses the menu interface (Excel 97, Excel 2000, Excel 2002, or Excel 2003)? This site is for you! If you use a later version of Excel, visit our ExcelTips site focusing on the ribbon interface.

Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.

Links and Sharing