*In this tutorial, you will learn how to count unique values in Excel with formulas, and how to get an automatic count of distinct values in a pivot table. We will also discuss a number of formula examples for counting unique names, texts, numbers, cased-sensitive unique values, and more.*

When working with a large dataset in Excel, you may often need to know how many **duplicate** and **unique** values are there. And sometimes, you may want to count only the **distinct** (different) values.

If you have been visiting this blog on a regular basic, you already know the Excel formula to count duplicates. And today, we are going to explore different ways to count unique values in Excel. But for the sake of clarity, let's define the terms first.

**Unique**values - these are the values that appear in the list only once.**Distinct**values - these are all different values in the list, i.e. unique values plus 1^{st}occurrences of duplicate values.

The following screenshot demonstrates the difference:

And now, let's see how you can count unique and distinct values in Excel using formulas and PivotTable features.

## How to count unique values in Excel

Here's a common task that all Excel users have to perform once in a while. You have a list of data and you need to find out the number of unique values in that list. How do you do that? Easier than you may think :) Below you will find a few formulas to count unique values of different types.

### Count unique values in a column

Supposing you have a column of names in your Excel worksheet, and you need to count unique names in that column. The solution is to use the SUM function in combination with IF and COUNTIF:

*range*,

*range*)=1,1,0))

**Note**. This is an array formula, so be sure to press Ctrl + Shift + Enter to complete it. Once you do this, Excel will automatically enclose the formula in {curly braces} like in the screenshot below. In no case should you type the curly braces manually, that won't work.

In this example, we are counting unique names in range A2:A10, so our formula takes the following shape:

`=SUM(IF(COUNTIF(A2:A10,A2:A10)=1,1,0))`

Further on in this tutorial, we are going to discuss a handful of other formulas to count unique values of different types. And because all those formulas are variations of the basic Excel unique values formula, it makes sense to break down the above formula, so you can fully understand how it works and tweak it for your data. If someone is not interested in technicalities, you can skip right to the next formula example.

#### How the Excel count unique values formula works

As you see, 3 different functions are used in our unique values formula - SUM, IF and COUNTIF. Looking from the inside out, here's what each function does:

- The COUNTIF function counts how many times each individual value appears in the specified range.
In this example,

`COUNTIF(A2:A10,A2:A10)`

returns the array`{1;2;2;1;2;2;2;1;2}`

. - The IF function evaluates each value in the array returned by COUNTIF, keeps all 1's (unique values), and replaces all other values with zeros.
So, the function

`IF(COUNTIF(A2:A10,A2:A10)=1,1,0)`

becomes`IF(1;2;2;1;2;2;2;1;2) = 1,1,0,`

which turns into the array`{1;0;0;1;0;0;0;1;0}`

where 1 is a unique value and 0 is a duplicate value. - Finally, the SUM function adds up the values in the array returned by IF and outputs the total number of unique values, which is exactly what we wanted.

Tip. To see what a specific part of your Excel unique values formula evaluates to, select that part in the formula bar and press the F9 key.

### Count unique text values in Excel

If your Excel list contains both numerical and text values, and you want to count only unique text values, add the ISTEXT function to the array formula discussed above:

`=SUM(IF(ISTEXT(A2:A10)*COUNTIF(A2:A10,A2:A10)=1,1,0))`

As you know, the Excel ISTEXT function returns TRUE if an evaluated value is text, FALSE otherwise. Since the asterisk (*) works as the AND operator in array formulas, the IF function returns 1 only if a value is both text and unique, 0 otherwise. And after the SUM function adds up all 1's, you will get a count of unique text values in the specified range.

Don't forget to press Ctrl + Shift + Enter to correctly enter the array formula, and you will get a result similar to this:

As you can see in the screenshot above, the formula returns the total number of unique text values, excluding blank cells, numbers, logical values of TRUE and FALSE, and errors.

### Count unique numeric values in Excel

To count unique numbers in a list of data, utilize an array formula like we've just used for counting unique text values, with the only difference that you embed ISNUMBER instead of ISTEXT in your unique values formula:

`=SUM(IF(ISNUMBER(A2:A10)*COUNTIF(A2:A10,A2:A10)=1,1,0))`

Note. Since Microsoft Excel stores dates and times as serial numbers, they are also counted.

### Count case-sensitive unique values in Excel

If your table contains case-sensitive data, the easiest way to count unique values would be creating a helper column with the following array formula to identify duplicate and unique items:

`=IF(SUM((--EXACT($A$2:$A$10,A2)))=1,"Unique","Dupe")`

And then, use a simple COUNTIF function to count unique values:

`=COUNTIF(B2:B10, "unique")`

## Count distinct values in Excel (unique and 1^{st} duplicate occurrences)

To get a count of distinct values in a list, use the following formula:

*range*,

*range*))

Remember, it's an array formula, and therefore you should press the Ctrl + Shift + Enter shortcut instead of the usual Enter keystroke.

Alternatively, you can use the SUMPRODUCT function and complete the formula in the usual way by pressing the Enter key:

*range*,

*range*))

For example, to count the distinct values in range A2:A10, you can go with either:

`=SUM(1/COUNTIF(A2:A10,A2:A10))`

Or

`=SUMPRODUCT(1/COUNTIF(A2:A10,A2:A10))`

#### How the Excel distinct formula works

As you already know, we use the COUNTIF function to find out how many times each individual value appears in the specified range. In the above example, the result of the COUNTIF function is the following array: `{2;2;3;1;2;2;3;1;3}`

.

After that, a number of division operations are performed, where each value of the array is used as a divisor with 1 as the dividend. This turns all duplicates values into fractional numbers corresponding to the number of duplicate occurrences. For example, if a value appears 2 times in the list, it generates 2 items in the array with a value of 0.5 (1/2=0.5). And if a value appears 3 times, it produces 3 items in the array with a value of 0.3(3). In our example, the result of `1/COUNTIF(A2:A10,A2:A10))`

is the array `{0.5;0.5;0.3(3);1;0.5;0.5;0.3(3);1;0.3(3)}`

.

Doesn't make much sense so far? That's because we haven't applied the SUM / SUMPRODUCT function yet. When one of these functions adds up the values in the array, the sum of all fractional numbers for each individual item always yields 1, no matter how many occurrences of that item exist in the list. And because all unique values appear in the array as 1's (1/1=1), the final result returned by the formula is the total number of all different values in the list.

### Formulas to count distinct values of different types

As is the case with counting unique values in Excel, you can use variations of the basic Excel count distinct formula to handle specific value types such as numbers, text, and case-sensitive values.

Please remember that all of the below formulas are array formulas and require pressing Ctrl + Shift + Enter.

#### Count distinct values ignoring empty cells

If a column where you want to count distinct values might contain blank cells, you should add an IF function that will check the specified range for blanks (the basic Excel distinct formula discussed above would return the #DIV/0 error in this case):

*range*<>"",1/COUNTIF(

*range*,

*range*), 0))

For example, to count distinct values in range A2:A10, use the following array formula:

`=SUM(IF(A2:A10<>"",1/COUNTIF(A2:A10, A2:A10), 0))`

#### Formula to count distinct text values

To count distinct text values in a column, we'll be using the same approach that we've just used to exclude empty cells.

As you can easily guess, we will simply embed the ISTEXT function into our Excel count distinct formula:

*range*),1/COUNTIF(

*range*,

*range*),""))

And here's a real-life formula example:

`=SUM(IF(ISTEXT(A2:A10),1/COUNTIF(A2:A10, A2:A10),""))`

#### Formula to count distinct numbers

To count distinct numeric values (numbers, dates and times), use the ISNUMBER function:

*range*),1/COUNTIF(

*range*,

*range*),""))

For example, to count all different numbers in range A2:A10, use the following formula:

`=SUM(IF(ISNUMBER(A2:A10),1/COUNTIF(A2:A10, A2:A10),""))`

#### Count case-sensitive distinct values in Excel

Similarly to counting case-sensitive unique values, the easiest way to count case-sensitive distinct values is to add a helper column with the array formula that identifies unique values including first duplicate occurrences. The formula is basically the same as the one we used to count case-sensitive unique values, with one small change in a cell reference that makes a great difference:

`=IF(SUM((--EXACT($A$2:$A2,$A2)))=1,"Distinct","")`

As you remember, all array formulas in Excel require pressing Ctrl + Shift + Enter.

After the above formula is finished, you can count "distinct" values with a usual COUNTIF formula like this:

`=COUNTIF(B2:B10, "distinct")`

If there is no way you can add a helper column to your worksheet, you can use the following complex **array formula** to count case-sensitive distinct values without creating an additional column:

`=SUM(IFERROR(1/IF($A$2:$A$10<>"", FREQUENCY(IF(EXACT($A$2:$A$10, TRANSPOSE($A$2:$A$10)), MATCH(ROW($A$2:$A$10), ROW($A$2:$A$10)), ""), MATCH(ROW($A$2:$A$10), ROW($A$2:$A$10))), 0), 0))`

## Count unique and distinct rows in Excel

Counting unique / distinct rows in Excel is akin to counting unique and distinct values, with the only difference that you use the COUNTIFS function instead of COUNTIF, which lets you specify several columns to check for unique values.

For example, to count unique or distinct names based on the values in columns A (First Name) and B (Last Name), use one of the following formulas:

**Formula to count unique rows:**

`=SUM(IF(COUNTIFS(A2:A10,A2:A10, B2:B10,B2:B10)=1,1,0))`

**Formula to count distinct rows:**

`=SUM(1/COUNTIFS(A2:A10,A2:A10,B2:B10,B2:B10))`

Naturally, you are not limited to counting unique rows based only on two columns, the Excel COUNTIFS function can process up to 127 range/criteria pairs.

## Count distinct values in Excel using a PivotTable

The latest versions of **Excel 2013** and **Excel 2016** have a special feature that allows counting distinct values automatically in a pivot table. The following screenshot gives an idea of how the Excel **Distinct Count** looks like:

To create a pivot table with the distinct count for a certain column, perform the following steps.

- Select the data to be included in a pivot table, switch to the
*Insert*tab,*Tables*group, and click the**PivotTable**button. - In the
*Create PivotTable*dialog, choose whether to place your pivot table in a new or existing worksheet, and be sure to select the**Add this data to the Data Model**checkbox.

- When your pivot table opens, arrange the Rows, Columns and Values areas the way you want. If you don't have much experience with Excel pivot tables, the following detailed guidelines may prove helpful: Creating a PivotTable in Excel.
- Move the field whose distinct count you want to calculate (
*Item*field in this example) to the*Values*area, click on it, and select**Field Value Settings…**from the drop-down menu:

- The
*Value Field Settings*dialog window will open, you scroll down to**Distinct Count**, which is the very last option in the list, select it and click*OK*.

You can also give a custom name to your Distinct Count if you want to.

Done! The newly created pivot table will display the distinct count like shown in the very first screenshot in this section.

Tip. After updating your source data, remember to update the PivotTable to bring the distinct count up to date. To refresh a pivot table, just click the **Refresh** button on the *Analyze* tab, in the *Data* group.

This is how you count distinct and unique values in Excel. If someone wants to have a closer look at the formulas discussed in this tutorial, you are welcome to download the sample Excel Count Unique workbook.

I thank you for reading and hope to see you again next week. In the next article, we are going to discuss various ways to find, filter, extract and highlights unique values in Excel. Please stay tuned!

## 236 comments

Good Day, I need to count unique names in a column but only the first six characters is relevant in each name. So for instance name "Sale Price" I only need for example "Sale P" so =LEFT(A2,6) but need a count of distinct occurrences such as "Sale P"; Sold; Purch. etc. ( I know some will return incomplete its not words I want but distinct occurrences.) I want to know if that column contain any sales or purchases etc. I don't want a filter with predetermined names I could have unexpected names.

Hello Phil!

If I understand your task correctly, this article may be helpful: Excel formula to count cells with certain text (exact and partial match).

For EXP

in C-I enter - RUMAITHA

in E-I enter - PKG-05

in AF-I enter - Date (But will put only when the work finish) otherwise it blank

So pls advice the formula how to calculate the common value PKG-05... once it put the date (It showing the add in the Qyt).... otherwise i did't put the date than it will not count

Hi! Please clarify your specific problem or provide any additional details to make it clear exactly what it is you need. It's difficult to tell exactly what you're asking for as it's currently written.

How would you convert your formula for DISTINCT values using CSE, ie. {=SUM(1/COUNTIF(range, range))} in Excel 365?

Hi! I'm not quite sure what you want. This formula counts distinct values. This formula and other formulas are described in detail in the paragraph above: Count distinct values in Excel (unique and 1st duplicate occurrences). Explain your question in detail.

The formula above, and the one using SUMPRODUCT, require C+S+E. Is there another way of writing these formulas using dynamic arrays ( not using C+S+E )?

Hi! If your Excel supports dynamic arrays, you don't need to use Ctrl+Shift+Enter when entering a formula. Read more about this here: Excel dynamic arrays, functions and formulas.

You can see other ways to calculate distinct values using dynamic array formulas here: How to count unique values in Excel 365. I hope it’ll be helpful.

Hi, thanks for your prompt reply. I didn't realize I could just omit the C+S+E. I tried it and it works. Thanks again.

Can you confirm the formula to count distinct text values ignoring empty cells. I should probably be able to work it out from what you've given us so far but I can't! Thanks.

Hi! Pay attention to the following paragraph of the article above: Count distinct values ignoring blank cells.

needed to count distinct values and it took a while until I found your page. You made it easy. Thank you.

Emphasize the importance of CRTL-SHIFT-ENTER, but it works great.

Hi there,

I have a report that contains multiple rows that contain the same number in Column A.

What formula would I use to get a count of unique values in Column A (i.e. exclude duplicates) that re-totals when the report is filtered on a different column (Column H in this case)?

Any tips would be appreciated :)

Steve

Hi! The Excel filter has no effect on the results of functions that count the sum or number of values, nor on the UNIQUE function.

Try to follow the recommendations from this article: Count unique values with multiple criteria.

I have a list of invoices numbers in Col F and I have the date of each invoice in Col D. I want to Write a formula that looks at Cell O4 that (Month-Year) and get a count of distinct invoices from that month. I do not want to use pivot tables becasue they take up too much storage and my file is already large.

Any help would be very apprecitaed.

Hi! You can use the information from the article above or these instructions: COUNTIF formulas for dates. Unfortunately, this information is not enough to recommend a formula to you. Which value is written in cell O4 - date or text?

If there are duplicates in column F and you want to count only unique values, use these instructions: Count unique values with criteria.

To recommend a formula, please describe the problem in detail.

Hi,

I want to count distinct value in a dynamic table.

I have applied "slicer" and want to count distinct value from visible rows of table.

Count should change as I change slicer criteria.

Thanks!

Hi! The COUNTIF function and other functions recommended in this article for counting distinct values can't ignore hidden rows.

Try to use the recommendations described in this article: How to count unique values in Excel with criteria.

always struggled with this scenario

col a col b

1 1

1 0

2 1

3 1

4 1

4 0

5 1

2 0

the question in column b is "is the value in column A unique ?" 1 for yes and 0 for no. I've only achieved this with sorting the data and then using A2=A3 true/false

Hi! The answer to your question can be found in this article: Distinct and unique values in Excel: how to find, filter, select and highlight.

=IF(COUNTIF($A$1:$A$10, $A1)=1, "Unique", "")

I have a bunch of excel files, each file contain a contact name, company name, phone number and email address. I would like to extract those information (contact name, company name, phone number and email address) from all the individual excel files sitting in a file folder and put them into one excel file called Customers under 4 headings (contact name, company name, phone number, email address).

All the information are located in the same cell locations for all the individual excel files.

Hi! Try to use the Combine Sheets Wizard to merge data from several worksheets of different files into a single Excel sheet.

The tool is included in the Ultimate Suite for Excel and can be used in a free trial to see how it works.

Column A Column B I want

1 John John

0 0 John

0 0 John

0 0 John

2 Charles Charles

0 0 Charles

0 0 Charles

0 0 Charles

When new serial starts in Column A, corresponding value in Column repeats itself. Kindly guide how?

Hi! If I understand your task correctly, the following formula should work for you:

=INDEX($B$1:B1, MATCH(LOOKUP(9999999999,$A$1:A1), $A$1:A1,0))

For more details on how to use the LOOKUP function to find the last non-empty cell in a column, read here: How to do Lookup in Excel: functions and formula examples.

I want to get the distinct count of 1st row wrt to the second row

Row1 Row2

Apples Nov

Apples Nov

Orange Nov

Banana Dec

Apples Dec

Orange Dec

Banana Dec

Now looking that in Nov there are count of different fruits are 2 and in Dec count of different fruits are 3

require formula for same

Hi! You can find the examples and detailed instructions here: Count unique values with criteria. You can try this formula:

=IFERROR(ROWS(UNIQUE(FILTER(A1:A7,B1:B7="Nov"))),0)

A B

F51 12345

F31 12346

F53 12347

F31 23456

F48 23456

F51 12345

F51 12349

F53 12347

I want this result (to show count of distinct values).

F51 = 2

F31 = 2

F53 = 1

F48 = 1

Pay attention to the following paragraph of the article above: How to count unique rows in Excel.

It covers your case completely.

looking to have all unique values in a column return a "1" the first time they show up, and every other time that name shows up return a "0"

Matt - 1

John - 1

Fred - 1

Matt - 0

Bob - 1

Fred - 0

Hi! You can find the examples and detailed instructions here: Distinct and unique values in Excel: how to find, filter, select and highlight. The formula might look like this:

=IF(COUNTIF($A$2:$A$10, $A2)=1, "1", "0")