## 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.

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

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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