by Allen Wyatt
(last updated May 7, 2016)
Jithin has a data table that has 20 rows. He would like to add a statement below the table saying "This table has 20 rows." He would like to make the row count dynamic, however, as he frequently adds rows to or deletes rows from the table.
There are a number of ways you can put together such a statement, and the ways vary depending on how you put your data table together. If your data is simply that—data in an Excel worksheet—then you can use a formula similar to the following:
="The data table has " & COUNTA(A2:A21) & " rows"
This assumes that you table is in rows 1 through 21, with row 1 being a row of headings. (In other words, actual data is in rows 2 through 21.) The COUNTA function returns a count of any cells in the range A2:A21 that are not empty.
The only thing that you need to be careful of is when you add rows to your data table. In order for the formula to automatically adjust, you'll want to make sure that you only add rows after row 2 and before row 21. Doing anything different will mean that your "totals" formula points to the wrong rows.
Of course, you could modify the formula just a bit to overcome this potential problem. All you need to do is make sure that your "totals" formula is in row 23 (or in a row further down) and that your formula references rows 1 through 22:
="The data table has " & COUNTA(A1:A22) - 1 & " rows"
This works on the assumpution (again) that row 1 contains headings (thus the act of subtracting 1 from what COUNTA returns) and that row 22 is empty. Now you can add rows anywhere from rows 2 through 22 and you'll have no problem with the formula.
The above formulas work only if there are no blank cells in the range A1:A22. If there are, then a different approach would be better. This formula using the ROWS function will give the desired result:
="The data table has " & ROWS(A2:A21) & " rows"
There are other variations on these formulas that could be used, relying on other functions such as ROW, SUBTOTAL, COUNT, COUNTBLANK, and a few others. For general purposes, though, the examples already provided should work just fine.
There is another way your data can be formatted—as a formal "data table." This is done by selecting your data, displaying the Insert tab of the ribbon, and then clicking Table. Once the table is created, it is automatically assigned a name by Excel. The default name for your first table is Table1, then Table2, etc. Given this information, the easiest way to get your totals formula is like this:
="The data table has " & ROWS(Table1) & " rows"
The benefit to this approach is that you can insert rows anywhere within the defined table, and the ROWS function will always refer to the proper rows in the table.
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