# Counting the first character in a row

#### Dan Wilson

##### Active Member
Good day all. I am running Excel out of Office365 (updated) on Windows 10 Home. I have a worksheet with eight Columns and right now 30 working Rows. The number of Rows may increase. Column A contains song titles. At the bottom of the worksheet I total the number of songs for reference using COUNTA. The worksheet is used to list elements of my internet music show and I would like to incorporate voice breaks into this worksheet. The COUNTA finds all cells that are not blank. I need to find a way to count Column A to show the number of actual songs and also the number of voice breaks. I tried using an Asterisk as the first character of a voice break, but Excel seems to confuse that as an arithmetic function and I understand that. that then means that I cannot use a Plus or Minus sign or a Division sign. I elected to use an Exclamation Point as the first character of the voice break. I have tried using the COUNTIF function, but I'm not having much luck with it. Columns B thru G find data about each song such as Artist, Year, Length, etc. The voice break will not use any of those items, so I have included a LEFT function in the formulas in Columns B thru G to leave those cells blank if the first character of Column A is an Exclamation Point. The problem is counting Column A to show the total count of actual songs and the total count of voice breaks. Any help is appreciated.
Thank you,
Dan Wilson...

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#### Fluff

##### MrExcel MVP, Moderator
For the total number of songs try
Excel Formula:
``=COUNTIFS(A:A,"<>",A:A,"<>!*")``

#### Dan Wilson

##### Active Member
For the total number of songs try
Excel Formula:
``=COUNTIFS(A:A,"<>",A:A,"<>!*")``
Good day Fluff. Good to hear from you again. I thought at first I was going to have to ask for more help. When I entered your COUNTIFS function, it showed me a number greater than than the number of song entries. Then I realized that A:A included the Totals lines below the song entries. Once I modified the A:A to A2:A30, all is well. I learned another trick with the "<>" elements. Excel is so great!
Thank you,
Dan Wilson...

#### Fluff

##### MrExcel MVP, Moderator
You're welcome & thanks for the feedback.

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