## Explanation

In this example, the goal is to count the number of cells in **data** (B5:B15) that are not equal to "red" or "blue". This problem can be solved with the COUNTIFS function or the SUMPRODUCT function, as explained below.

### Not equal to

The not equal to operator in Excel is <>. For example, with the number 10 in cell A1:

```
=A1<>5 // returns TRUE
=A1<>10 // returns FALSE
```

The first formula returns TRUE since A1 is indeed not equal to 5. The second formula returns FALSE since A1 is equal to 10.

### COUNTIFS function

The COUNTIFS function counts the number of cells in a range that meet one or more supplied criteria. All conditions must pass in order for a cell to be counted, so you can think of COUNTIFS as using AND logic to join conditions.

In the example shown, there is a list of colors in column B in the named range **data** (B5:B15). We want to count cells where the color is *not* red or blue. To solve this problem, we need two separate conditions: (1) not equal to "red", and (2) not equal to "blue". The conditions given to COUNTIFS are supplied with range/criteria *pairs*, and can use logical operators. The key in this case is to use the "not equals" operator, which is <>. The conditions we need are:

```
data,"<>red" // not equal to "red"
data,"<>blue" // not equal to "blue"
```

When we place these conditions in COUNTIFS, the result is 4, since there are 4 cells that contain colors not equal to "red" or "blue":

```
=COUNTIFS(data,"<>red",data,"<>blue") // returns 4
```

To exclude other colors, you can add additional range/criteria pairs.

### Alternative with SUMPRODUCT

The SUMPRODUCT function can also count cells that meet multiple conditions. For the above example, the syntax for SUMPRODUCT is:

```
=SUMPRODUCT((data<>"blue")*(data<>"green"))
```

This is an example of using Boolean algebra with multiplication for OR logic.

### Not equal to many things

The formulas above do scale well as you add more conditions. To count cells not equal to many things with a more streamlined formula, see this example.