Counting unique entries in a range

In this article, we will learn How to Count unique entries in a range in Excel.

What are unique values in range ?

Non- repeating values are called unique values. For example : In a list of groceries Rice, Wheat, Floor and Wheat. Values Rice & Floor are unique or non repeating whereas as wheat is repeating and non unique values. Sometimes in excel in a long list we need to find the count of unique value

Formula in Excel

Here we will use the combination of SUMPRODUCT and COUNTIF function. Here COUNTIF function counts the number of values in range. SUMPRODUCT finds the sum of values for only the corresponding 1s.

Formula syntax:


range : list of values in given range

Example :

All of these might be confusing to understand. Let's understand how to use the function using an example. Here Let's say we have a name list. Now this list may contain duplicate values. How can we count unique names only? See below table.

Write this Unique Count formula anywhere on the sheet. And you will have a unique count of items in a given range.



  • COUNTIF(A2:A11,A2:A11) : This part will return an array of count of each element in cell. If you select this part of formula and press F9, you will see the array. If “radha” occurs two times and “Reena” 3 then array will be. {2,2,3,3,3}.In this example it is {2;3;3;3;3;3;3;2;2;2}.
  • 1/COUNTIF(A2:A11,A2:A11) : Here we are dividing 1 by each element of the array returned by COUNTIF(A2:A11,A2:A11).  It will again return an array of fractions. If array returned by countif function is {2,2,3,3,3} then the fraction array will be {0.5,0.5,0.333,0.333,0.333}. If we some them then we will get {1,1}. 1 for each element in array. For our example it is {0.5;0.333;0.333;0.333;0.333;0.333;0.333;0.5;0.5;0.5}.

Still with me? OK, we are almost there.

  • SUMPRODUCT(1/COUNTIF(A2:A11,A2:A11)) : It will sum the array provided by 1/COUNTIF(A2:A11,A2:A11), which will be the count of unique values in range.

Here are all the observational notes using the formula in Excel
Notes :

  1. The formula works with numbers, text, date values, etc.
  2. Use the same data type to match criteria in criteria list like name in names list, date in date values.
  3. Lists as criteria ranges must be of same length, or the formula returns #VALUE! error.
  4. Operators like equals to ( = ), less than equal to ( <= ), greater than ( > ) or not equals to ( <> ) can be used in criteria arguments, with numbers list only.
  5. For example matching time values which have hour value 6. So you can use "06:*:*". Each ( * ) asterisk character is used for the uncertain minutes and seconds.

Hope this article about How to Count unique entries in a range in Excel is explanatory. Find more articles on counting values and related Excel formulas here. If you liked our blogs, share it with your friends on Facebook. And also you can follow us on Twitter and Facebook. We would love to hear from you, do let us know how we can improve, complement or innovate our work and make it better for you. Write to us at

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