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How to find most common value(number or text string) from a list in Excel?

Supposing you have a list of names which contain some duplicates, and now, you want to extract the value that appears the most frequently. The direct way is to count the data one by one from the list to get the result, but if there are thousands of names in the column, this way will be troublesome and time-consuming. The following tutorial will introduce you some tricks to solve this task quickly and conveniently.

Find the most common value (number or text string) from a list with Array Formula

Find the most common value (number or text string) from a list with VBA code

Quickly find the most comma value (number or text string) from a list/column with several clicks

Easily sort by frequency of occurrences in Excel

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Generally, we can apply the MODE function (=MODE(A1:A16))to find the most common number from a range. But this MODE function does not work with text strings. To extract the most occurring value, you can apply the following array formula. Please do as this:

In a blank cell besides the data, enter this formula:

=INDEX($A$1:$A$16,MODE(MATCH($A$1:$A$16,$A$1:$A$16,0))), press Shift + Ctrl + Enter keys together. See screenshot:

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doc find most common data 1


1. A1:A16 is the data range that you want to get the most frequent value. You can change it to your need.

2. This array formula cannot work when there are blank cells in the list.

With the following VBA code, you can not only find the most occurring value, but also count the number of times for the most common word.

1. Hold down the ALT + F11 keys, and it opens the Microsoft Visual Basic for Applications window.

2. Click Insert > Module, and paste the following code in the Module Window.

VBA code: Find the most common value from a list

Sub FindFrequency()
'Update 20140326
Dim Rng As Range
Dim WorkRng As Range
Set dic = CreateObject("scripting.dictionary")
On Error Resume Next
xTitleId = "KutoolsforExcel"
Set WorkRng = Application.Selection
Set WorkRng = Application.InputBox("Range", xTitleId, WorkRng.Address, Type:=8)
xMax = 0
xOutValue = ""
For Each Rng In WorkRng
    xValue = Rng.Value
    If xValue <> "" Then
        dic(xValue) = dic(xValue) + 1
        xCount = dic(xValue)
        If xCount > xMax Then
            xMax = xCount
            xOutValue = xValue
        End If
    End If
MsgBox "The most common value is: " & xOutValue & " Appeared " & xMax & " Times"
End Sub

3. Then press F5 key to run this code, and a prompt box will pop out to remind you to select the range that you want to use. See screenshot:

doc find most common data 2

4. And then click OK, you will get a prompt box which displays the following information:

doc find most common data 3

If you have Kutools for Excel installed, you can easily apply its Find most comma value formula to quickly get the most frequent value from a list or column in Excel.

Select a blank cell you will place the found value into, Click Kutools > Formulas > Find most comma value, and then in the Formula Helper dialog box specify the list/column and click the Ok button. See screenshots:

And then you will see the most common/frequent value have been found and placed into the selected cell. See screenshot:

doc find most common data 06

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  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    Catalina · 11 months ago

    how to do this with an horizontal arrangement? I am having and #N/A error.
    • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
      kellytte · 10 months ago
      Hi Catalina,
      Both the VBA (the second method in above article) and the Find most common value formula provided by Kutools for Excel (the third method in above article) can find the most common value from a horizontal row.
  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    Adithya Koutha · 1 years ago
    Hi thanks, for the info. What if there is a sentence instead of a word? then also can we get the common words in all sentences??
    • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
      kellytte · 11 months ago
      Hi Adithya,
      The array formula =INDEX($A$1:$A$16,MODE(MATCH($A$1:$A$16,$A$1:$A$16,0))) can also find out the most common sentence in a column.
      However, please note that each sentence should be place in a single cell.
  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    Ranjit singh · 2 years ago
    how to stop input in excel if enter value of cell larger than other cell
  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    Tom · 3 years ago
    "Find the most common value (number or text string) from a list with Array Formula" will ignore blanks if modifying the above formula to:

  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    Stuart House · 3 years ago
    Trying to find the 'Find most common value' function. Not showing on the formulas drop down. Has it been removed ?
  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    dan · 4 years ago
    after I found 4 or 5 values of most common word in the list, the vba code returns the same value although I delete the value from the list.

    first returns c - 4
    delete c
    second returns b - 3
    delete b
    third returns a - 2
    delete a
    fourth returns a - 2
    way not d -1 ?
    thank you.