Use a wildcard in Excel to make SUMIFS and COUNTIFS more flexible

What is the extra S in the function name?

The old functions SUMIF and COUNTIF let you add or count a range of numbers based on one criterion. For example, you could count all the members who have paid the annual fee in the table below. With SUMIFS and COUNTIFS you can have multiple criteria, e.g. count all the members who have a Silver membership and who have paid the annual fee.

How to use a wildcard

In the example below I have used the COUNTIFS function to count the number of members who fulfill the two criteria. But if you also want to be able to apply only one criterion without changing the setup, you can use a wildcard. Here’s how I’ve done it:


Create a dynamic drop-down menu in Excel in 4 easy steps

In a previous post we learned how to make an Excel drop-down menu in 3 minutes. In this post I will show a very easy way to make a drop-down list in Excel that changes depending on what you have chosen in another cell. It’s easy, and it only takes five minutes!

Step 1: Enter the data

It is absolutely critical that the data table is set up correctly: The main category (the countries in this example) should be in one column, and the sub-categories (the cities) in the other columns, with the countries repeated as headings.