Most cells in the column have a single integer in them, e.g. 5. Some cells have a range as a string, e.g. '4-5. (Let's ignore the problem where someone types 4-5 and the app interprets it as April 5th, and stores a date value.) Some cells have a single integer as text, e.g. '5. How can I count the number of cells in the column that have a specific integer anywhere in them, as text or number value?

  • =COUNTIF(A2:A88, 5) — counts 5 and '5, does not count '4-5
  • =COUNTIF(A2:A88, "5") — counts 5 and '5, does not count '4-5
  • =COUNTIF(A2:A88, "*5*") — counts '5 and '4-5, does not count 5

Ideally I want to coerce the displayed value to be text that is searched. (That would also solve the April 5th problem.) I want a solution that includes all of 5, '5, '4-5, and '5-6.

  • My workaround is to add a separate column with =TO_TEXT() on the original column, and then use the *5* solution on that new column.
    – Phrogz
    Feb 16 at 3:04

1 Answer 1


Formula Option 1


# Equivalent to


Formula Option 2



  1. SUMPRODUCT is an array function so it returns the results for the entire range and is a math function so it coerces an array of TRUE & FALSE values to an array of 1 & 0 values.
  2. REGEXMATCH version requires prepending a text character to coerce all values to text. ' was the character I chose.
  3. FIND version uses >0 to generate the TRUE values and uses IFERROR to handle #VALUE! errors when there is no match (FALSE).

Formula Option 3

Adapting your COUNTIF approach but without a helper column

=SUMPRODUCT(COUNTIF("'" & A2:A88, "*5*")

# or

=ARRAYFORMULA(COUNTIF("'" & A2:A88, "*5*"))

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