Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. If you are using a later version (Excel 2007 or later), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for later versions of Excel, click here: Phantom Counts.

Phantom Counts

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated December 27, 2014)

1

There are two closely related worksheet functions in Excel: COUNT and COUNTA. The COUNT function counts all cells that contain numbers, while the COUNTA function counts all cells that are not empty. Thus, if you use COUNTA, you would get "phantom counts" if a cell contained a space; this problem would not occur if you used the COUNT function.

What can cause "phantom counts" when using COUNT is if some cells contain the value zero. This is considered a number by Excel, so it includes that cell in the count. The confusion often pops up if you have the worksheet configured to not display zero values. Thus, the cell could appear to be empty, but really contain a zero which affects COUNT.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (2574) applies to Microsoft Excel 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. You can find a version of this tip for the ribbon interface of Excel (Excel 2007 and later) here: Phantom Counts.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

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What is 4 - 0?

2019-07-14 03:20:30

Ken Endacott

Here is a simple way of checking references to tables and figures. The macro below highlights in yellow all figure and table captions that are referenced at least once. By scrolling down the document, captions that are not highlighted and hence haven't been referenced can be seen. The macro also highlights in red, references that do not have a corresponding table or figure caption or bookmark. The macro is non specific and will highlight any referenced bookmark.

Sub CheckTableAndFigureReferences()
Dim j As Long
Dim f As Field
Dim fCode As String
Dim bkMrk As String
ActiveDocument.Range.HighlightColorIndex = wdNoHighlight
For j = 1 To ActiveDocument.Fields.Count
Set f = ActiveDocument.Fields(j)
If f.Type = wdFieldRef Then
fCode = Trim(f.Code)
bkMrk = Trim(Mid(fCode, InStr(fCode, " ")))
If ActiveDocument.Bookmarks.Exists(bkMrk) Then
ActiveDocument.Bookmarks(bkMrk).Range.HighlightColorIndex = wdYellow
Else
f.Result.HighlightColorIndex = wdRed
End If
End If
Next j
MsgBox "Finished checking references"
End Sub


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