# Excel COUNTIF Function: Count Cells Not Equal to a Specific Value

The Excel COUNTIF function is a powerful tool for counting cells that meet specific criteria within a range.

Often overlooked is its ability to count cells not equal to a particular value. This functionality provides an efficient way to assess the number of cells that don’t match a specific criterion.

## Excel COUNTIF Function: Count Cells Not Equal to a Specific Value

Understanding the `<>` Operator

The `<>` operator in Excel represents “not equal to.” When used in combination with the COUNTIF function, it counts cells that don’t meet a specified condition.

Syntax of the COUNTIF Function for “Not Equal To”

The syntax for counting cells not equal to a particular value using COUNTIF is:

`=COUNTIF(range, "<>value")`

• range: The range of cells you want to evaluate.
• value: The value you want to check against. Cells not equal to this value will be counted.

Examples

Let’s illustrate this with some practical examples:

Example 1: Counting Non-Empty Cells

`=COUNTIF(A1:A10, "<>")`

Example 2: Counting Cells Not Equal to a Specific Number

`=COUNTIF(B:B, "<>10")`

Example 3: Counting Cells Not Equal to a Specific Text

`=COUNTIF(C:C, "<>Completed")`

Example 4: Counting Cells Not Equal to a Specific cell

Suppose you have a value in cell E1 (let’s say, the value 5), and you want to count the number of cells in range A1:A10 that aren’t equal to this value.

In cell F1, you can place your value or criterion (in this case, it’s 5). Then, you can use this cell reference in your COUNTIF formula:

`=COUNTIF(A1:A10, "<>"&F1)`

This formula will count all cells in the range A1:A10 that don’t match the value in cell F1. If cell F1 contains 5, it will count cells not equal to 5 in range A1:A10.

## FAQ about COUNTIF in Excel

Can I use COUNTIF for text-based criteria in Excel?

Yes, COUNTIF supports text-based criteria. For instance: =COUNTIF(A1:A10, “Completed”).

What’s the difference between COUNTIF and COUNTIFS in Excel?

COUNTIF is for a single criterion, while COUNTIFS allows multiple criteria.

For multiple criteria, use COUNTIFS: =COUNTIFS(A1:A10, “>50”, B1:B10, “<100”).

Can I use logical operators with COUNTIF in Excel?

Yes, logical operators like >, <, =, <> can be used in COUNTIF criteria. For instance: =COUNTIF(A1:A10, “>50”).

Does COUNTIF support wildcard characters in Excel?

Yes, COUNTIF supports wildcard characters like * and ? for partial matching. For example: =COUNTIF(A1:A10, “App*”).

## Conclusion

The COUNTIF function’s ability to count cells not equal to a specific value provides a quick way to evaluate data that doesn’t match certain criteria.

By utilizing the `<>` operator within the COUNTIF function, users can efficiently analyze data sets, identify discrepancies, and gain insights into their data with ease.

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