# How to count repeating values

This article demonstrates ways to count contiguous values in a column, in other words, values that repeat and are adjacent.

#### What's on this webpage

## 1. How to count any contiguous value

The formula in cell D4 checks if the value in cell D3 is not equal to the value in cell D4. If true (not equal) the result is 1. If false (equal) the formula adds 1 to the previous value above.

Copy cell D4 and paste to cells below as far as needed in order to count all values in column B.

Formula in cell D4:

The formula in cell F3 simply extracts the largest number from cell range D3:D14. Adjust cell ref D3:D14 if you have more values than the example shown in the image above.

Formula in cell F3:

### Explaining formula in cell D4

#### Step 1 - Logical test

Combine the less than character and the larger than character and you get not equal to. The result is a boolean value TRUE or FALSE.

The first argument in the IF function is the logical test, it determines what value to return.

B4<>B3

becomes

"C"<>"A"

and returns TRUE.

#### Step 2 - Evaluate IF function

The IF function returns one value if the logical test returns TRUE and another value if the logical test returns FALSE.

IF(*logical_test*, [*value_if_true*], [*value_if_false*])

IF(B4<>B3, 1, D3+1)

becomes

IF(TRUE, 1, D3+1)

and returns 1 in cell D4.

## 2. How to count a specific contiguous value

David asks:

Hi Oscar,

In column A, I have a long random list of two variables, "N/A" and the value 1. In column B I want to identify the number of contiguous occurrences of the value 1 before the next appearance of "N/A".

I wonder if you could point me to the best way of achieving this, please?

Example below shows what I am after.Much appreciation for your excellent website,

David

Col A Col B

N/A

N/A

1

1

1

1

1 5

N/A

1

1

1

1 4

N/A

N/A

1

1 2

N/A

N/A

N/A

1 1

Thanks, David.

Formula in cell D4:

### Explaining formula in cell D4

#### Step 1 - Logical test

Combine the less than character and the larger than character and you get not equal to. The result is a boolean value TRUE or FALSE.

The first argument in the IF function is the logical test, it determines what value to return.

B4<>B3

becomes

"N/A"<>"N/A"

and returns FALSE.

#### Step 2 - Evaluate IF function

The IF function returns one value if the logical test returns TRUE and another value if the logical test returns FALSE.

IF(*logical_test*, [*value_if_true*], [*value_if_false*])

IF(B4<>B3, 1, D3+1)

becomes

IF(FALSE, 1, D3+1)

becomes

D3+1

becomes

"" + 1

and returns 1.

#### Step 3 - Nested IF function

The second IF function makes sure that the value in cell B4 is equal to 1, we want to only count cells equal to 1.

IF(B4=1, IF(B4<>B3, 1, D3+1), "")

becomes

IF("N/A"=1, IF(B4<>B3, 1, D3+1), "")

becomes

IF(FALSE, IF(B4<>B3, 1, D3+1), "")

becomes

IF(FALSE, 1, "")

and returns "" (nothing) in cell D4.

Read Rick Rothsteins's comment below.

If you want to learn more about array formulas join my Advanced excel course.

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### 4 Responses to “How to count repeating values”

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### How to comment

**How to add a formula to your comment**

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**Convert less than and larger than signs**

Use html character entities instead of less than and larger than signs.

< becomes < and > becomes >

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First off, you show your formula starting in cell B3... you need to adjust it so that it starts in cell B2, otherwise you will not show a 1 in cell B2 if cell A2 differs from cell A3.

Second, here is a much simpler, still array-entered, formula, placed in cell B2 and copied down, that appears to produce the same output as your formula...

=IF(A3<>A4,ROW()-MAX(IF(A$1:A2<>A3,ROW(A$1:A2))),"")

Sorry, I posted the wrong formula, plus it looks like the comment processor ate my less than greater than symbol. Here is the correct array-entered formula, rearrange to eliminate the display problem...

=IF(A2=A3,"",ROW()-MAX(IF(A$1:A1<>A2,ROW(A$1:A1))))

D@MN! I missed that the comment processor ate a second less than, greater than symbols in my formula. Here now is the correct [b]array-entered[/b] formula (rearranged so that there are no less than, greater than symbols at all)..

=IF(A2=A3,"",ROW()-MAX(IF(A$1:A1=A2,,ROW(A$1:A1))))

Rick Rothstein (MVP - Excel),

Your formulas work fine, thanks. So much better and smaller than mine.

I am sorry for wordpress eating your less/greater than signs, I try to edit your comments as soon as I can.