Count Empty Cells In Excel

BY STANLEY ZAROWIN

Q. I’m puzzled. I use the COUNT function to determine how many cells in a worksheet contain numbers and the COUNTA function to tally the empty cells. But when I compare the two results to double-check my answer, it never comes out right. It’s like there are phantom cells. Is this an Excel bug?

A. I’m afraid you’ve missed some subtleties of Excel’s COUNT function. You’re obviously unaware that Excel is counting cells with zero values as empty. You can change the program’s default, though, so it doesn’t do that. Here’s how: Go to Tools , Options , View and uncheck Zero values on the bottom of the Options screen (see screenshot below).

SPONSORED REPORT

Keeping client information safe in an age of scams and security threats

A look at the Dirty Dozen tax scams and ways to protect taxpayer information.

TECHNOLOGY Q&A

How to create maps in Excel 2016

Microsoft Excel 2016 has two new mapping capabilities. J. Carlton Collins, CPA, demonstrates how to make masterful 2D and 3D maps in Excel 2016.

QUIZ

News quiz: IRS enforcement, a hot job, and audit value

The IRS’s 2016 Data Book, a “hot job” of particular interest at this time of year, and insight into how executive and audit committees view the insights from financial statement audits received attention recently. See how much you know with this short quiz.