How to count cells that start with a specific letter

The majority of activities or scenarios we happen to come across in our daily lives will always involve counting in one way or the other. Nearly everything depends on or revolves on counting in this world. We count to obtain the value of things numerically or in terms of numeral values.

The act of tallying a certain quantity to obtain or to reveal the number of items or several objects in a set is what we mostly refer to as counting. Counting is general and done in almost all aspects of life or our daily routines.

In most cases, we count in numbers that are to mean we use numbers to identify the number of items or the number of objects. As said earlier, counting is done everywhere even when using excel sheets. In excel sheets we do the count of the number of rows, columns, cells, items in the rows, and columns and even the cells that begin with a specific letter are also counted. Characters that begin with specific letters may include serial numbers, names of places, names of products, and many more.

To do a quick count of cells that start with a number, we have some steps to follow, and some of the steps are discussed below in detail;

Step 1

On your personal computer or laptop, open the excel sheet that you would like to count the cells with a specific letter if you do not have the excel sheet already created, open a blank excel sheet and record some data in it. Ensure your data has values that begin with similar letters to make our scenario effective.

Step 2

We are now going to obtain the tally of the number of cells that begin with a specific letter from the excel sheet we have just created. To do this, we are going to use the function COUNTIF.

We incorporate this function in the formula; =COUNTIF (B2: B7, D1). From this formula, B2 and B7 are the range of cells while D1 is the cell that we insert the specific character.

The cells that begin with the specific letter S are 4.

Combining SUMPRODUCT() and EXACT() Functions

The SUMPRODUCT() function in this combination record a dataset or cells as input and expresses mathematical totals as output. On the other hand, the Exact() function uses two inputs (specific text and cells) unlike the SUMPRODUCT() Function that chooses one of them. It shows Boolean values where;

True, if the text corresponds with cell.

False, if it doesn’t correspond.


1. Firstly, highlight a cell and place the formula;


Where; EXACT(“Shirt”,B5:B13), returns a series of Boolean values either TRUE or FALSE. However, the negative (-) sign changes the Boolean values into 1. 0.1 is for TRUE and 0 for FALSE.

SUMPRODUCT((–EXACT(Shirt”,B5:B13))), returns the totals of 1’s and 0’s. The 1’s and 0’s are the numbers at which shirts are found in the cells.

Combining SUMPRODUCT(), ISNUMBER(), and FIND() Functions

The FIND() function has two inputs where one coded for specific text and the other for a range of cells. It gives a position of a text in a cell when it corresponds whereas it applies an error if it doesn’t correspond.

ISNUMBER() Function

The results (output value) from the FIND() Function act as the input in our function. It shows the numbers as TRUE which means the function is correct while FALSE in case of inaccuracy.


1. You start by using the generic formula for this function as;


Where; FIND(“Jacket”,B5:B13), shows either the location of text “Jacket” in the cells of column C in case of any or shows an Error if nothing is detected.

ISNUMBER(FIND(“Jacket”,B5:B13)) turns the numbers into TRUE. Whenever an error is present it will simply state FALSE.

The negative sign (-) changes the TRUE and FALSE into 1 and 0.

SUMPRODUCT() estimates the totals of the values of all the 0’s and 1’s. In this case, the word Jacket appears twice in the highlighted cell; B5:B13.

Matching Multiple Criteria

The COUNTIFS() Function mainly deals with many ranges of cells and criteria as input. It also gives back the number of times when all criteria are at maximum.


1. You use the syntax below;


Where; COUNTIFS() uses two ranges of cells and two criteria as input.

2. You will see Leo Tolstoy from cell C4 to C15 which means years more than 1870 are from cells D4 to D15.

Count Cells Beginning With Specific Letter With Kutools For Excel

Kutools for Excel deal with cells that start with the letter B.


1. First, download and install Kutools for Excel to proceed.

2. Highlight the data range you need.

3. Go to Kutools, then click on the " Select” option. To the menu that will appear choose Select Specific Cells.

4. In the Select Specific Cells dialog box, you select Cell from the Selection type and state if it begins with or Does not begin with found in the Specific type option.

5. Click Apply.

6. You will see a box emerges to tell you the number of cells that have the letter.