Get my absolute best Excel tips, plus this

FREE CHEAT SHEET

Custom Date Formats in Excel

Your details will be kept safe and will not be shared with anyone (here's the privacy policy)

Many people get confused about how and when to use some of the basic Excel functions. For example, when do you use SUM and when do you use COUNT?

In a moment Iâ€™ll tackle that specific question.

Then I'll bring 3 other COUNT functions into the mix - COUNTA, COUNTBLANK and COUNTIF and show you where you would use each one.

**FEATURE DOWNLOAD**

Grab the fï»¿reï»¿e **â€‹**cheat sheet

Very simply, SUM calculates a total for a number of cells or values, so itâ€™s answering the question: HOW MUCH**?** Or, **WHAT IS THE TOTAL?**

COUNT tells you HOW MANY cells meet a certain condition.

Consider the following data:

Cell A6 uses a **SUM** function to add up the values in cells A1 to A6.

Cell C6 uses a **COUNT** function to find how many cells in the range C1 to C6 contain numbers. The COUNT function ignores blank cells or cells that contain text or symbols.

There are number of other functions available in Excel. Heres a quick summary of what they do, followed by an example of each.

Consider the following data:

Hereâ€™s the results for each formula:

Answer = 5.

Answer = 7.

Answer = 3.

There is no single function that tells you the number of text cells but you can work it out with this formula:

To demonstrate the COUNTIF function, consider the following data:

The COUNTIF function needs 2 bits of information - the range of cells you are looking at and what it is that youâ€™re checking for. The criteria is always encapsulated in double quotation marks (â€œ) and is not case sensitive.

To find how many tradespeople drive a Toyota:

To find how many plumbers there are:

To find how many tradespeople charge more than $70 per hour:

To find how many of the tradesmenâ€™s names start in the last half of the alphabet:

I hope you found this post useful.

If this post helped, or you have a question, drop a quick comment below. I always love to hear from my readers. Here's to your learning and success. Enjoy the rest of your day.

About the author

Jason Morrell

Jason loves to simplify the hard stuff, cut the fluff and share what actually works. Things that make a difference. Things that slash hours from your daily work tasks. He runs a software training business in Queensland, Australia, lives on the Gold Coast with his wife and 4 kids and often talks about himself in the third person!

SHARE

**Session expired**

Please log in again. The login page will open in a new tab. After logging in you can close it and return to this page.

Nice and easy to understand. Thanks for the explanation!

Thank you. You’re welcome.

Thanks, It was helpful

You’re welcome.