How to count occurrences in an entire workbook in Excel?

Are you tired of manually counting data in your Excel workbook? Do you wish there was a faster way to tally information without having to spend hours combing through countless sheets? Look no further! In this article, we will explore various methods for counting occurrences in your entire workbook, saving you time and energy while helping you make sense of your data.

Understanding the Problem

Excel is a powerful tool for organizing and analyzing data. However, as your workbook grows in size and complexity, it can become increasingly difficult to keep track of important information. This is where counting occurrences comes in handy. By tallying the number of times a particular value appears in your workbook, you can quickly identify trends and patterns, spot errors, and gain valuable insights into your data.

The Problem with Manual Counting

While it is possible to count occurrences manually by scanning each sheet in your workbook, this method is time-consuming, error-prone, and not scalable. For example, imagine you have a workbook with 100 sheets, each containing thousands of rows and columns of data. Even if you can scan each sheet in 30 seconds, it would take you over 8 hours to manually count occurrences in the entire workbook! Furthermore, you are likely to miss certain values, miscount others, and make mistakes due to fatigue and boredom.

The Solution: Automated Counting with Excel Formulas

The simplest method to count occurrences in a workbook is to use Excel’s built-in formulas. One such formula is the COUNTIF function, which counts the number of cells in a range that meet a certain condition. To count occurrences across all sheets, we can use a combination of the INDIRECT and SUM functions to create a dynamic range.

Here’s the formula:


This formula uses an array constant {Sheet1,Sheet2,Sheet3} to create a reference to the three sheets, and applies the COUNTIF function to count the number of times the word “apple” appears within the specified range A1:D10 on each sheet. Finally, the SUM function adds up the counts from each sheet.

Please replace “Sheet1”, “Sheet2”, and “Sheet3” with the actual names of the sheets you want to include in the count. Also, adjust the range A1:D10 to the appropriate range that contains the data you want to count.

Using Power Query

Another way to count occurrences in a workbook is to use Power Query, a data transformation and analysis tool in Excel. With Power Query, you can create a query that combines all tables in the workbook, filters for the desired value, and counts the rows.

Here are the steps:

  • Go to the Data tab and click “From Other Sources” > “Blank Query”.
  • In the Query Editor, go to “Home” > “Combine” > “Combine Files” > “Workbook”.
  • Select the workbook and click “OK”.
  • In the “Combine Files” dialogue, select “Tables” and click “OK”.
  • In the Query Editor, go to “Transform” > “Filter Rows” > “Text Filters” > “Contains”.
  • Enter the value you want to count and click “OK”.
  • Go to “Home” > “Reduce Rows” > “Count Rows”.
  • Save the query and load the result to a new sheet.

This method provides a more flexible and customisable solution but requires some knowledge of Power Query.

Related: How To Count The Number Of Occurrences Between Two Dates, Categorized By Age Range

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Bibek Sapkota

I'm Bibek | Tech Enthusiast & Lifelong Learner. | Playing on the Web for the Past Few Years as an SEO Specialist and Full-Time Blogger. I'm constantly seeking out new opportunities to learn and grow, and I love sharing my knowledge with others. This is where I started this blog! Here, you will find me sharing comprehensive reviews, helpful guides, tips-tricks and ways to get the full benefits of evolving technology. On this blog, you can also explore Powerful Knowledge, Tips & Resources On Blogging, SEO and Passive income Opportunities.

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