Getting Started with COUNTIF in Google Sheets

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The COUNTIF function in Google Sheets is a powerful tool that allows you to count the number of cells in a range that meet specific criteria. This function is particularly useful for analyzing data and generating reports in spreadsheets. In this article, we will explore the basics of using COUNTIF in Google Sheets along with some practical examples.

Syntax of COUNTIF:

The syntax of the COUNTIF function is relatively simple. It follows this structure:

=COUNTIF(range, criteria)

  • ‘range’: The range of cells where you want to apply the criteria. It can be a single column or row, or a combination of both.
  • ‘criteria’: The condition that determines which cells will be counted. It can be a value, expression, or text that you are searching for within the specified range.

Example 1: Counting the Number of Occurrences

Let’s say you have a list of products in column A and the corresponding sales quantities in column B. You want to count how many times the product “Widget A” appears in the list.

  1. Open a new Google Sheets document and enter the following data:
Widget A 15
Widget B 12
Widget A 20
Widget C 8
Widget A 10
  1. To count the occurrences of “Widget A,” click on an empty cell (let’s say cell D2) and use the COUNTIF function as follows:=COUNTIF(A:A, “Widget A”)

    The formula above tells Google Sheets to count how many times “Widget A” appears in the range A:A.

  2. After entering the formula, the result will be displayed in cell D2, showing that “Widget A” appears three times in the list.

Example 2: Counting Cells Based on Numeric Criteria

Now, let’s say you want to count how many sales quantities are greater than or equal to 15.

  1. Using the same data, click on another empty cell (let’s say cell D3) and enter the following formula:=COUNTIF(B:B, “>=15”)

    This formula instructs Google Sheets to count the number of cells in the range B:B that meet the condition of being greater than or equal to 15.

  2. After entering the formula, cell D3 will show the result, which is three. Three sales quantities in column B are greater than or equal to 15.


The COUNTIF function in Google Sheets is a versatile tool for counting cells that meet specific criteria. It allows you to perform various analyses and generate valuable insights from your data. By using the examples provided in this article, you can easily start using COUNTIF in your own spreadsheets to make data-driven decisions and enhance your productivity.

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