Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. If you are using a later version (Word 2007 or later), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for later versions of Word, click here: Displaying Blanks when Summing to Zero.

Displaying Blanks when Summing to Zero

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated March 30, 2019)

1

When you are working with tables in Word, you can use a field to sum the values in a range of cells or in an entire column. Normally, if the sum of the range is zero, the field displays a 0—this seems reasonable. You may, however, want the field to display a blank when the sum is zero, instead of the actual number 0.

To do this, simply modify your sum formula as follows:

{ =SUM(ABOVE) \# #;-#; }

Notice the addition of several parameters after the SUM formula. The first (\#) is known as a numeric picture field switch. It tells Word that the following codes represent a picture of how you want numeric information displayed. The second switch (just before the first semicolon) indicates how you want positive numbers to display. The second (just before the second semicolon) indicates how you want negative numbers to display. The final one (in this case blank, just after the second semicolon) indicates how you want zero values to display. Since this is blank, zero values are displayed as blanks.

You can apply the same logic if you want to display dollar values. Simply change the formatting codes used in the field to match how you want the data displayed:

{ =SUM(ABOVE) \# $#,##0.00;($#,##0.00); }

Here positive numbers are displayed with a dollar sign, commas (if necessary) and two decimal places. Negative values are displayed the same, except there are parentheses around the number. Again, zero values are left blank.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (543) applies to Microsoft Word 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. You can find a version of this tip for the ribbon interface of Word (Word 2007 and later) here: Displaying Blanks when Summing to Zero.

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. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Options in Creating New Files

You'd think that Word would be consistent, right? Wrong! Here's one example where Word is anything but consistent when it ...

Discover More

Centering a Table

Left-justified tables are great for many document designs, but you may want instead to center a table between the margins ...

Discover More

Countering Compressed Columns

If you open a workbook and find that the width of some of your columns has been changed, the discovery can be ...

Discover More

Comprehensive VBA Guide Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) is the language used for writing macros in all Office programs. This complete guide shows both professionals and novices how to master VBA in order to customize the entire Office suite for their needs. Check out Mastering VBA for Office 2010 today!

More WordTips (menu)

Getting Information About Fields

Want to know what a certain field does and how to use it? Word's online help is surprisingly helpful in getting the ...

Discover More

Using Fields for Fractions

Want a quick way to create fractions? You can do it by using fields, as described in this tip.

Discover More

Inserting the Document Creation Date

One of the pieces of information tracked by Word is when a document was first created. Here's how you can access that ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is one less than 7?

2019-06-20 03:42:20

Jeff

Hi what happens if I want to replace 0 with a dash "-"


This Site

Got a version of Word that uses the menu interface (Word 97, Word 2000, Word 2002, or Word 2003)? This site is for you! If you use a later version of Word, visit our WordTips site focusing on the ribbon interface.

Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.