## Sort a range based on value frequency

The formula in cell B8 extracts a list sorted based on frequency.

Array formula in B8:

copied down as far as necessary.

### Explaining formula in cell B8

#### Step 1 - Count previous values

The COUNTIF function counts values based on a condition or criteria. The first argument $B$7:B7 expands when the cell is copied to cells below.

COUNTIF($B$7:B7, tbl)=0

becomes

{0,0,0,0;0,0,0,0;0,0,0,0;0,0,0,0}=0

and returns

{TRUE, TRUE, TRUE, TRUE; TRUE, TRUE, TRUE, TRUE; TRUE, TRUE, TRUE, TRUE; TRUE, TRUE, TRUE, TRUE}

#### Step 2 - Replace TRUE with frequency count

The IF function returns the corresponding frequency number if boolean value is TRUE. FALSE returns "" (nothing).

IF(COUNTIF($B$7:B7,$B$2:$E$5)=0,COUNTIF($B$2:$E$5,$B$2:$E$5),"")

becomes

IF({TRUE, TRUE, TRUE, TRUE; TRUE, TRUE, TRUE, TRUE; TRUE, TRUE, TRUE, TRUE; TRUE, TRUE, TRUE, TRUE}, {3,3,4,4;4,4,4,4;4,4,4,3;4,4,1,4},"")

and returns

{3,3,4,4;4,4,4,4;4,4,4,3;4,4,1,4}.

#### Step 3 - Find largest value in array

The MAX function returns the maximum number in array ignoring blanks and text values.

MAX(IF(COUNTIF($B$7:B7, $B$2:$E$5)=0, COUNTIF($B$2:$E$5, $B$2:$E$5), ""))

becomes

MAX({3,3,4,4;4,4,4,4;4,4,4,3;4,4,1,4})

and returns 4.

#### Step 4 - Compare the largest number to array

IF((MAX(IF(COUNTIF($B$7:B7, $B$2:$E$5)=0, COUNTIF($B$2:$E$5, $B$2:$E$5), ""))=IF(COUNTIF($B$2:$E$5, $B$2:$E$5)*(COUNTIF($B$7:B7, $B$2:$E$5)=0), COUNTIF($B$2:$E$5, $B$2:$E$5)*(COUNTIF($B$7:B7, $B$2:$E$5)=0), "")), (ROW($B$2:$E$5)+(1/(COLUMN($B$2:$E$5)+1)))*1, "")

becomes

IF(4=IF(COUNTIF($B$2:$E$5, $B$2:$E$5)*(COUNTIF($B$7:B7, $B$2:$E$5)=0), COUNTIF($B$2:$E$5, $B$2:$E$5)*(COUNTIF($B$7:B7, $B$2:$E$5)=0), "")), (ROW($B$2:$E$5)+(1/(COLUMN($B$2:$E$5)+1)))*1, "")

becomes

IF(4={3,3,4,4;4,4,4,4;4,4,4,3;4,4,1,4}, (ROW($B$2:$E$5)+(1/(COLUMN($B$2:$E$5)+1)))*1, "")

becomes

IF(4={3,3,4,4;4,4,4,4;4,4,4,3;4,4,1,4}, {2.33333333333333, 2.25, 2.2, 2.16666666666667;3.33333333333333, 3.25, 3.2, 3.16666666666667;4.33333333333333, 4.25, 4.2, 4.16666666666667;5.33333333333333, 5.25, 5.2, 5.16666666666667}, "")

and returns

{"", "", 2.2, 2.16666666666667;3.33333333333333, 3.25, 3.2, 3.16666666666667;4.33333333333333, 4.25, 4.2, "";5.33333333333333, 5.25, "", 5.16666666666667}.

#### Step 5 - Replace TRUE with unique number

IF(MIN(IF((MAX(IF(COUNTIF($B$7:B7, $B$2:$E$5)=0, COUNTIF($B$2:$E$5, $B$2:$E$5), ""))=IF(COUNTIF($B$2:$E$5, $B$2:$E$5)*(COUNTIF($B$7:B7, $B$2:$E$5)=0), COUNTIF($B$2:$E$5, $B$2:$E$5)*(COUNTIF($B$7:B7, $B$2:$E$5)=0), "")), (ROW($B$2:$E$5)+(1/(COLUMN($B$2:$E$5)+1)))*1, ""))=(ROW($B$2:$E$5)+(1/(COLUMN($B$2:$E$5)+1))*1), $B$2:$E$5, "")

becomes

IF(MIN({"", "", 2.2, 2.16666666666667;3.33333333333333, 3.25, 3.2, 3.16666666666667;4.33333333333333, 4.25, 4.2, "";5.33333333333333, 5.25, "", 5.16666666666667})=(ROW($B$2:$E$5)+(1/(COLUMN($B$2:$E$5)+1))*1), $B$2:$E$5, "")

becomes

IF(2.16666666666667=(ROW($B$2:$E$5)+(1/(COLUMN($B$2:$E$5)+1))*1), $B$2:$E$5, "")

becomes

IF(2.16666666666667={2.33333333333333, 2.25, 2.2, 2.16666666666667;3.33333333333333, 3.25, 3.2, 3.16666666666667;4.33333333333333, 4.25, 4.2, 4.16666666666667;5.33333333333333, 5.25, 5.2, 5.16666666666667}, $B$2:$E$5, "")

becomes

IF({FALSE, FALSE, FALSE, TRUE; FALSE, FALSE, FALSE, FALSE; FALSE, FALSE, FALSE, FALSE; FALSE, FALSE, FALSE, FALSE}, $B$2:$E$5, "")

becomes

IF({FALSE, FALSE, FALSE, TRUE; FALSE, FALSE, FALSE, FALSE; FALSE, FALSE, FALSE, FALSE; FALSE, FALSE, FALSE, FALSE}, {"CC", "CC", "DD", "GG";"DD", "EE", "GG", "DD";"EE", "EE", "GG", "CC";"DD", "GG", "VV", "EE"}, "")

and returns

{"","","","GG";"","","","";"","","","";"","","",""}.

#### Step 6 - Concatenate strings in array

The TEXTJOIN function returns values concatenated ignoring blanks in array.

TEXTJOIN("", TRUE, IF(MIN(IF((MAX(IF(COUNTIF($B$7:B7, $B$2:$E$5)=0, COUNTIF($B$2:$E$5, $B$2:$E$5), ""))=IF(COUNTIF($B$2:$E$5, $B$2:$E$5)*(COUNTIF($B$7:B7, $B$2:$E$5)=0), COUNTIF($B$2:$E$5, $B$2:$E$5)*(COUNTIF($B$7:B7, $B$2:$E$5)=0), "")), (ROW($B$2:$E$5)+(1/(COLUMN($B$2:$E$5)+1)))*1, ""))=(ROW($B$2:$E$5)+(1/(COLUMN($B$2:$E$5)+1))*1), $B$2:$E$5, ""))

becomes

TEXTJOIN("", TRUE, {"","","","GG";"","","","";"","","","";"","","",""})

and returns "GG" in cell B8.

### Get Excel *.xlsx file

How to create a list of random unique numbers

Question: How do I create a random list of unique numbers from say 1 to 10, without using VBA and […]

Merge two columns with possible blank cells

Question: This article is terrific. Thanks so much for posting this solution! I do have one question: Let's say my […]

Extract unique distinct values from a relational table

In this post, I am going to show you how to extract unique distinct values and duplicates using a formula, […]

List all unique events in a month

Question: I have a table with four columns, Date, Name, Level, and outcome. The range is from row 3 to […]

Table of Contents Sort a column using array formula Two columns sorting by the second column Sort alphanumeric values I […]

Extract a unique distinct list sorted from A to Z ignore blanks

The image above demonstrates a formula in cell D3 that extracts unique distinct numbers and text values sorted from A […]

Sort dates within a date range

Array formula in D5: =SMALL(IF(($B$3:$B$12<=$E$3)*($B$3:$B$12>=$E$2), $B$3:$B$12, "A"), ROWS($A$1:A1)) How to create an array formula Copy array formula Select cell D5 […]

The image above shows a table with two columns in cell range B3:C16, it contains random text values in column […]

Lookup and return multiple sorted values based on corresponding values in another column

This article demonstrates a formula that extracts values based on a condition and sorts the returned values based on values […]

### 4 Responses to “Sort a range based on value frequency”

### Leave a Reply

### How to comment

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

<code>Insert your formula here.</code>

**Convert less than and larger than signs**

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

< becomes < and > becomes >

**How to add VBA code to your comment**

[vb 1="vbnet" language=","]

Put your VBA code here.

[/vb]

**How to add a picture to your comment:**

Upload picture to postimage.org or imgur

Paste image link to your comment.

**Contact Oscar**

You can contact me through this contact form

Your array formulas are very interesting.

But this fails if there is two or more values whith the same frequency.

Many thanks and best regards

Thanks for your comment! I have changed the formula and the attached excel file. The formula doesn´t work with blank cells.

Hi, very nice formula! I´m trying to do something like this, but I need to show one more column at the side of each unique element with the count of occurrences :-)

Fernando,

In the above example, try this formula in C9 copied down as far as necessary.

=COUNTIF(tbl, B9) + CTRL + SHIFT + ENTER