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Excel Formula: Find most frequent text with criteria

Author: Sun Last Modified: 2020-01-10

In some cases, you may want to find the text which appears most frequently based on a criterion in Excel. This tutorial introduces an array formula to handle this job and gives the explanation about the arguments of this formula.
doc find most frequent text with criteria 1

Generic formula:



Rng_1: the range of cells that you want to find the most frequent text.
Rng_2: the range of cells that contain the criteria you want to use.
Criteria: the condition you want to find text based on.

Return value

This formula returns the most frequent text with a specific criterion.

How this formula work

Example: There is a range of cells listing products, tools and users, now you want to find the most frequent used tool of each product. Please use below formula in Cell G3:


Press Shift + Ctrl + Enter keys together to get the correct result. Then drag fill handle down to apply this formula.
doc find most frequent text with criteria 2


MATCH($C$3:$C$12,$C$3:$C$12,0): the MATCH function returns the location of the lookup_value in a row or column. Here the formula returns the array result {1;2;3;4;2;1;7;8;9;7}, which finds the position of each text in range $C$3:$C$12.
doc find most frequent text with criteria 3

IF($B$3:$B$12=F3,MATCH($C$3:$C$12,$C$3:$C$12,0)): the IF function is used to set a condition. Here this formula is seen as IF($B$3:$B$12=”KTE”,{1;2;3;4;2;1;7;8;9;7}) , and the array result returns ={1;FALSE;3;FALSE;FALSE;1;FALSE;FALSE;9;FALSE}.
doc find most frequent text with criteria 4

MODE(IF($B$3:$B$12=F3,MATCH($C$3:$C$12,$C$3:$C$12,0))): MODE function finds the most frequent text in a range. Here this formula will find the most frequent number in the array result of the IF function, which can be seen as MODE({1;FALSE;3;FALSE;FALSE;1;FALSE;FALSE;9;FALSE}) and returns 1.
doc find most frequent text with criteria 5

INDEX function: the INDEX function returns the value in a table or array based on the given location. Here the formula. INDEX($C$3:$C$12,MODE(IF($B$3:$B$12=F3,MATCH($C$3:$C$12,$C$3:$C$12,0)))) will be shrunk to INDEX($C$3:$C$12,1).
doc find most frequent text with criteria 6


If there are two or more most frequent texts, the formula will return the value which appear at first.

Sample File

doc sampleClick to download sample file

Relative Formulas

  • Check if a cell contains a specific text
    To check if a cell contains some texts in range A but does not contain the texts in range B, you can use an array formula which combines the COUNT, SEARCH and AND function in Excel
  • Check if a cell contains one of several values but exclude other values
    This tutorial will provide a formula to quickly handle the task that check if a cell contains one of things but excluding other values in Excel and explain the arguments of the formula.
  • Check if cell contains one of things
    Supposing in Excel, there is a list of values in column E, you want to check if the cells in column B contain all of the values in column E, and return TRUE or FALSE.
  • Check if cell contains number
    Sometimes, you may want to check if a cell contains numeric characters. This tutorial provides a formula which will return TRUE if the cell contains number, FALSE if cell does not contain number.

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