Counting Coloured Cells in Excel on Windows 11: A Step-by-Step Guide

Counting colored cells in Excel on Windows 11 may seem like a daunting task, but it’s actually quite simple once you know how to do it. This quick overview will give you a brief idea of the steps involved. First, you’ll need to use a function called “COUNTIF” to count the cells based on a specific color. Next, you’ll create a helper column to assist with the counting. Lastly, you’ll enter the formula into the desired cell to display the count of colored cells.

Step by Step Tutorial: Counting Coloured Cells in Excel on Windows 11

Before we dive into the steps, it’s important to understand that Excel doesn’t have a built-in function to count colored cells directly. Therefore, we’ll be using a workaround that involves creating a helper column that identifies the colored cells, which we can then count using the COUNTIF function.

Step 1: Create a helper column

Add a new column next to the range of cells you want to count.

Creating a helper column provides a way to identify each cell by its color. You will be using this column to input a formula that marks each colored cell, which can then be counted.

Step 2: Enter the formula to identify colored cells

In the first cell of the helper column, enter the formula “=GET.CELL(38, reference)”.

The GET.CELL function is part of Excel’s old macro language, but it still works in modern versions of Excel. The number 38 is the code that corresponds to the cell’s fill color. Replace “reference” with the cell reference you want to check.

Step 3: Fill the helper column with the formula

Drag the formula down the helper column to apply it to all cells in the range.

This step copies the formula to each cell in the helper column, allowing you to see which cells have colors and which do not.

Step 4: Use COUNTIF to count colored cells

In a new cell, enter the formula “=COUNTIF(helper_column_range, cell_color_code)” to count the colored cells.

Replace “helper_column_range” with the range of cells in the helper column and “cell_color_code” with the code that corresponds to the color you want to count. This will give you the total number of cells that have the specific color.

After completing these steps, you’ll have the count of colored cells displayed in the cell where you entered the COUNTIF formula. This can help you quickly identify patterns and summarize data based on color coding in your Excel spreadsheets.

Tips for Counting Coloured Cells in Excel on Windows 11

  • Always use absolute references (e.g., $A$1) when referencing the cell in the GET.CELL function to ensure the formula works correctly when filled down the helper column.
  • If you have multiple colors to count, you can repeat the process with different color codes for each count.
  • Remember that the GET.CELL function is part of the old Excel macro language, so it’s not listed in the regular Excel functions. You have to type it manually.
  • You can hide the helper column if you don’t want it to be visible in your final spreadsheet.
  • The color codes generated by the GET.CELL function are not intuitive, so you may need to experiment to find the correct code for each color.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can Excel count colored cells automatically?

No, Excel does not have a built-in feature to count colored cells automatically. You will need to use a helper column and the COUNTIF function as described in this article.

What if I have cells with different shades of the same color?

Different shades of the same color will have different color codes. You will need to count each shade separately using its unique color code.

Can I count colored cells without using a helper column?

While the helper column method is the most straightforward, you can also use more complex methods involving VBA macros, but this requires some programming knowledge.

Will this method work on other versions of Excel?

Yes, this method should work on most versions of Excel, although the interface and steps may vary slightly.

What should I do if the color codes are not working correctly?

Double-check that you’re using the correct color code for each cell. Sometimes, the codes can be confusing, and you may need to use trial and error to find the right one.


  1. Create a helper column.
  2. Enter the formula to identify colored cells.
  3. Fill the helper column with the formula.
  4. Use COUNTIF to count colored cells.


Counting colored cells in Excel on Windows 11 can be a piece of cake if you know the right tricks. By combining the versatility of the COUNTIF function with a sneaky use of the old-school GET.CELL function, you can make Excel do the heavy lifting for you. With the steps and tips outlined in this article, you’ll be able to tackle this task with confidence and ease. So go ahead, give it a try, and watch as your spreadsheet comes to life with valuable insights that were once hidden behind a rainbow of colors. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or a newbie, mastering this skill will undoubtedly elevate your Excel game. Keep experimenting, keep learning, and most importantly, keep counting those colored cells!

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