Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Word in Microsoft 365, and 2021. If you are using an earlier version (Word 2003 or earlier), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for earlier versions of Word, click here: Counting Values in Table Cells.

Counting Values in Table Cells

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated May 11, 2024)
This tip applies to Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Word in Microsoft 365, and 2021


Dan has a document with a huge table with many rows and six columns. In one of the columns he enters a single character (F, P, or B) for each row. Periodically Dan needs to count the total occurrences of the Fs, Ps, and Bs in that column. He wonders if there is some kind of macro that he can use to do the counting.

It is possible to do this with a macro, but the macro would not be simple. It is far easier to do a simple find and replace operation to get the desired totals. Follow these general steps:

  1. Select the column that contains the single characters. (If the first row in the column contains some header text that contains F, P, or B, then don't include the first cell in your selection.)
  2. Press Ctrl+H to display the Replace tab of the Find and Replace dialog box. (See Figure 1.)
  3. Figure 1. The Replace tab of the Find and Replace dialog box.

  4. In the Find What box, enter the letter you want to search for (F, P, or B).
  5. In the Replace With box, enter "^&" (without the quote marks).
  6. Click Replace All.

The result is that the character is replaced with itself, and Word lets you know how many replacements were made. (If Word asks you if you want to make the replacements in the rest of the document, turn down the kind offer.) You can repeat the steps for each of the other characters in the column, and you will have your desired counts.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (11258) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Word in Microsoft 365, and 2021. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Counting Values in Table Cells.

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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