You can use the following formula to find the first occurrence of a value in a column in Excel:

=COUNTIF($A$2:$A2,$A2)=1

This particular formula returns a value of **TRUE** for the first occurrence of each unique value in column A and a value of **FALSE** for all other values.

If you would like to return a **1** or **0** instead, you can use the following formula:

=(COUNTIF($A$2:$A2,$A2)=1)+0

The following example shows how to use these formulas in practice.

**Example: Find First Occurrence of a Value in Column in Excel**

Suppose we have the following dataset that contains information about points scored by basketball players on various teams:

We can type the following formula into cell **C2** to return either **TRUE** or **FALSE** to indicate whether or not the team name in cell **A2** is the first occurrence of that team name in column A:

=COUNTIF($A$2:$A2,$A2)=1

We can then click and drag this formula down to each remaining cell in column C:

The formula returns either **TRUE** or **FALSE** to indicate whether or not the corresponding team name in column A is the first occurrence of that team name.

For example:

- The value of “Rockets” in row 2 receives a value of
**TRUE**since it is the first occurrence of that team name in column A. - The value of “Spurs” in row 3 receives a value of
**TRUE**since it is the first occurrence of that team name in column A. - The value of “Spurs” in row 4 receives a value of
**FALSE**since it is not the first occurrence of that team name in column A.

And so on.

If you would instead like to return a value of **1** or **0**, you can type the following formula into cell **C2**:

=(COUNTIF($A$2:$A2,$A2)=1)+0

You can then click and drag this formula down to each remaining cell in column C:

Now the formula returns either **1 **or **0 **to indicate whether or not the corresponding team name in column A is the first occurrence of that team name.

**Additional Resources**

The following tutorials explain how to perform other common tasks in Excel:

How to Count Duplicates in Excel

How to Count Frequency of Text in Excel

How to Count by Group in Excel