Learn how to count cells that begin with specific text in Excel using a COUNTIF formula with wildcard character matches.

## How to Count cells that begin with a specified text?

- Open Excel
- Type =COUNTIF(B3:B7,”AS*”)
- The formula counts all cells that begin with “AS”.

### Example

COUNTIF is a versatile function for analyzing data. It allows users to count the number of cells that meet a certain condition. This tutorial will explore using wildcards with COUNTIF to count cells that begin with a specified text string.

If you are unfamiliar with **user-defined functions**, you can use the built-in COUNTIF function. In the image below, we demonstrate how to use the COUNTIF function in Excel to count cells that begin with a specific text.

In this case, the formula =COUNTIF(B3:B7, “AS”) counts the number of cells in the range B3:B7 that start with the text “AS.”

The asterisk **(*)** is a wildcard character representing any number of characters following “AS”. Look at the criteria! You need to insert an asterisk. **The “*” character is a wildcard that replaces any characters after the specified text, “AS”.**

**Supported wildcards as criteria argument:**

**Question mark (?)**: Matches any single character. For example, “A?” would match “AB” or “AC”.**Asterisk (*)**matches any number of characters. For example, “AS*” would match “ASD”, “AS0001”, etc.**Tilde (~)**used to escape special characters like * or ? if you want to treat them as literal characters.

The built-in COUNTIF function can effectively count occurrences based on partial text matches, even if you are working with a large dataset.

**Case-Sensitivity Limitation of COUNTIF**:

One limitation of COUNTIF is that it is not case-sensitive. This means that ‘**ASD-00023**‘ and ‘**asd-00023**‘ count similarly. If case sensitivity is important, **combine the COUNTIFS function with the EXACT function** or even a custom function to achieve the expected results.

### Related Formulas

**Count if cells less than a given number****Count cells over N characters****Count cells that contain numbers****Cell contains specific text****Formula Guide**