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: Getting a Count of Unique Names.
by Allen Wyatt
(last updated February 20, 2018)
John has a worksheet that he uses for registration of attendees at a conference. Column A has a list of each person attending, and column B has the company represented by each attendee. Each company can have multiple people attend. John can easily figure out how many individuals are coming to the conference; it is simply the number of rows in column A (minus any header rows). The more difficult task is to determine how many companies are going to be represented at the conference.
There are a couple of ways to determine the desired count. First, if there are no blank cells in column B, you can use an array formula (entered by Ctrl+Shift+Enter) such as the following:
If there are blanks in the range (B2:B50 in this case), then the array formula will return a #DIV/0! error. If that case, the array formula needs to be changed to the following:
If you prefer to not use an array formula, you can add regular formulas to column C to do the count. First, sort the table of data by the contents of column B. That way the data will be in company order. Then add a formula such as the following to cell C2 (assuming you have a header in row 1):
Copy the formula down through all the rest of the cells in column C, and then do a sum on the column. The sum represents the number of unique companies attending, since a 1 only appears in column C when the companies change.
Of course, if you need to find the names of all the companies represented at the conference, you can use Excel's filtering capabilities. Follow these steps:
Figure 1. The Advanced Filter dialog box.
You now can easily see how many companies are being represented, along with who those companies are.
ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (3105) 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: Getting a Count of Unique Names.
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