Google Sheets Count If Contains Formula: A Step-by-Step Guide

When working with data in Google Sheets, you may find yourself in need of a way to count cells that contain specific text or characters. The “COUNTIF” function is a powerful tool that can help you do just that. By the end of this article, you’ll understand how to use the Google Sheets COUNTIF contains formula to make your data analysis easier and more efficient.

Step by Step Tutorial: Using Google Sheets COUNTIF Contains Formula

Before diving into the steps, let’s understand what we’re trying to achieve. We’re going to use the COUNTIF function to count the number of cells in a range that contain a specific substring.

Step 1: Open Your Google Sheet

The first thing you need to do is open the Google Sheet that contains the data you want to analyze.

When you open your sheet, make sure you know which range of cells you want to apply the formula to and what text you’re looking to count.

Step 2: Select the Cell Where You Want the Result

Click on the cell where you want the count to be displayed.

This cell will display the result of the COUNTIF function, so choose a location that makes sense for your data analysis.

Step 3: Enter the COUNTIF Formula

Type in =COUNTIF(range, “text“) into the selected cell, replacing “range” with the range of cells you’re analyzing and “text” with the substring you want to count.

Remember that the asterisks (*) around the text act as wildcards, meaning the function will count any cell that contains the text anywhere within it.

Step 4: Press Enter to Execute the Function

Once you’ve entered the formula, hit Enter on your keyboard to execute the function and get your count.

After hitting Enter, the cell you selected in Step 2 will now display the number of times the specified text appears in the selected range.

After completing these steps, you will have successfully used the COUNTIF function to count cells containing a specific substring. This can be incredibly useful for quickly analyzing data patterns or occurrences within a large dataset.

Tips for Using Google Sheets COUNTIF Contains Formula

  • Remember to use quotation marks around the text you’re searching for within the formula.
  • Use wildcards (*) to count cells that contain the text anywhere, not just cells that match the text exactly.
  • Double-check your range selection to ensure you’re analyzing the correct set of data.
  • The COUNTIF function is case-insensitive, meaning it doesn’t differentiate between uppercase and lowercase letters.
  • Combine the COUNTIF function with other Google Sheets functions to create more complex data analyses.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can COUNTIF count multiple criteria at once?

No, COUNTIF can only handle a single criterion. If you need to count based on multiple criteria, consider using the COUNTIFS function.

Will COUNTIF work with numbers as well as text?

Yes, COUNTIF can be used to count cells based on numerical conditions as well as text.

Can I use COUNTIF to count cells based on cell color?

No, COUNTIF does not have the capability to count cells based on formatting like cell color. You would need to use a script or add-on for that.

How do I count cells that contain text but ignore blank cells?

Modify your formula to =COUNTIF(range, “?*”) which will count cells with at least one character, thereby ignoring blank cells.

Is there a limit to the range size that COUNTIF can handle?

While there is no specific limit, very large ranges may slow down your sheet’s performance. It’s best to keep your range as concise as possible.


  1. Open your Google Sheet.
  2. Select the cell for the result.
  3. Enter the COUNTIF formula.
  4. Press Enter to execute the function.


Mastering the Google Sheets COUNTIF contains formula is a game-changer for anyone who works with data. It simplifies the process of counting occurrences of text within a dataset, which can be a tedious task if done manually. Whether you’re a student, business owner, or just someone who loves organizing data, knowing how to use this function efficiently can save you time and make your data analysis tasks a breeze. Remember the tips and tricks shared in this article, and don’t be afraid to experiment with the COUNTIF function alongside other Google Sheets functions to unlock even more potential in your data analysis endeavors. Happy counting!

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