**To count cells that begin with specific text in Excel**, you can use the COUNTBEGIN function or the COUNTIF function.

In this article, we will show you a custom **formula** to show you how to use the COUNTBEGIN function to count cells that begin a given text or a specific number.

## How to count cells that begin with a specific text

- Type =COUNTBEGIN(B3:B7,”AS”) in cell I3
- Press Enter
- The formula will count cells that begin with the specific text

### COUNTBEGIN function

The COUNTBEGIN user-defined function is built for solving custom tasks in Excel; in other words, it is an improved version of the COUNTIF function.

**Syntax:**

`=COUNTBEGIN(range,textToCount, [optional] caseSensitive)`

**Arguments**:

The function uses two required and one optional argument.

- “
**range**“: - “
**textToCount**“: - “
**caseSensitive**“: the optional arguments control the type of search. In the case of case-sensitive search (default), you can not apply the 3rd argument. If you want to apply a non-case-sensitive option, set the argument to FALSE.

### Example

In the first example, you want to count cells that begin with a specific character or characters. For example, to count the number of cells that begin with the “AS” string, configure the COUNTBEGIN function arguments:

- Range = “B3:B7”
- textToCount = “AS”

The search is case-sensitive; using the third argument is unnecessary.

**Formula:**

`=COUNTBEGIN(B3:B7,"AS")`

**Note:** If you want to apply a case-sensitive search, modify the formula by adding the optional third argument:

`=COUNTBEGIN(B3:B7,"AS", FALSE)`

**Count cells that begin with a specific number**

The COUNTBEGIN function works well even if you want to work with numeric values.

- Type COUNTBEGIN(D3:D10, 15) in cell D3
- Press Enter
- The formula will count cells that begin with the specific number

### Example

In the example, the data is in number format, and you want to count cells that begin with 15 (criteria).

**Formula:**

`=COUNTBEGIN(B3:B8,15)`

You can **download the practice file** that contains the COUNTBEGIN function.

**Count cells that begin with a specified text: COUNTIF**

If you are unfamiliar with user-defined **functions**, you can work with the built-in COUNTIF function. **COUNTIF has some limitations; for example, it is not case-sensitive.** In this section, we will show you a possible workaround.

Suppose that we are working with the demonstrated data set above. To count cells that begin with a certain text, use the following formula:

`=COUNTIF(B3:B7,"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 one character**asterisk**(*****) matches more than one character**tilde**(~) is an escape character