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How to count occurrences of specific character in a cell in Excel?

Sometimes, you may need to count how many times a specific character appearing in a cell. As below screenshot shown, you need to count number of character “o” appearing in cell A1, how to achieve this? In this article, we will show you methods of counting occurrences of specific character in Excel.

Quickly count occurrences of a specific character in a cell:

The Count Character utility of Kutools for Excel helps you quickly count occurrences of a certain character in a cell in Excel. See screenshot:

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Count occurrences of specific character in a cell with Formula

In this section, we introduce you a formula to count occurrences of specific character in a cell.

1. Select a blank cell for locating the result.

2. Type formula =LEN(A2)-LEN(SUBSTITUTE(A2,"o","")) into the Formula Bar, and then press the Enter key.


1. In the formula, A2 contains the text string which you want to count occurrences of specific character from.

2. “o” is the specific character you are going to count. Please change them as you need.

Then the occurrences of character “o” is counted and listed in selected cell.

Note: This feature is case sensitive.

Count occurrences of specific character in a cell with Kutools for Excel

The above formula may be difficult for you to remember, here we introduce you the COUNTCHAR utility of Kutools for Excel, with this utility, you can easily count how many times a specific character appearing in a cell.

1. Select a blank cell for locating the result, and then click Kutools > Kutools Functions > Statistical & Math > COUNTCHAR. See screenshot:

2. In the Function Arguments dialog box, select the cell which contains the text string for counting the specific character in the Within_text box (here we select cell A2), type the character into the Find_text box (in this case, the character is “o”) that you want to count, and then click the OK button. See screenshot:

Then you will get the result in selected cell immediately.

Note: This feature is also case sensitive.

Tip.If you want to have a free trial of this utility, please go to download the software freely first, and then go to apply the operation according above steps.

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  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    Steve M · 4 months ago
    Using Substitute for this was a great, simple solution. Thanks for that!
    I agree with others that sumproduct isn't needed here, but it made be look into what that function might be used for so thanks for the kick in that direction anyway!
    If we are all wrong on that note, I would love to hear where we might get burned by leaving it off. I'm guesing if we wanted to count the "o"s in a set of cells, then it would have purpose.
  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    mranime100@gmail.com · 6 months ago
    why r u use sumproduct() function?
    • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
      Nick S · 6 months ago
      I wondered the same thing, but I assume it was done so that it was versatile enough to select a range of cells versus just a single cell.
  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    Ateeq · 8 months ago
    The formula is working fine even without using sumproduct...