Just discovered the COUNTA() function in OpenOffice (probably also in other spreadsheets like M$ Excel).

This enables you to count the number of cells that contain any text, unlike COUNT(), which only counts cells that have content in numbers (e.g. “2,4,6, eight” would return “3”). The same sequence using COUNTA() returns “4”.

I found this to be useful when recording marks for students. I can put their grades in the appropriate cells, then use COUNTA(*cell range*) to record how many I’ve completed (and can therefore bill for!). Excellent!

Example:

A | B | |

1 | Alice | |

2 | Bob | B B B B1 |

3 | Chris | C A A A3 |

4 | Dan | C C C C2 |

5 | Eilidh | B C B B3 |

6 | Fionnuala | |

7 | TOTAL | [=COUNTA(B1:6)] returns “4” |