Count the Number of Specific Character in a String or Text Box in InfoPath

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

If you want to count the number of a specific character in a string in a field or textbox without coding, you can try this out of the box rules of InfoPath...

First, create two fields: Field 1 and Field 2. Field 1 will contain the text or string that you want to check and Field 2 will contain the number or result of the count. In our example, we will use the semicolon (;) character and count the number of instance in Field 1.


Field 1: Sample1;Sample2;Sample3;Sample4
Field 2: ?

In our example, Field 2 should show 3 as the result.

Next step is to select Field 2 and go to Text Box Properties and select fx button of Default Value.
Count Special Character in a Text Box in InfoPath

Enter this formula:

string-length(translate(field1, "1234567890ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTVWXYZabcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz", ""))

In this formula, we have 2 functions. The first one is translate.

translate(field1, "1234567890ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTVWXYZabcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz", "")

We are translating all letters to none or blank without spaces. Then after translating, we will now count the length of the string using string-length.

string-length(translate(field1, "1234567890ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTVWXYZabcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz", ""))

Since we converted all texts and/or characters other than the semicolon to blank without spaces, what will be left and counted are the semicolons.
Final result will be:

Count Special Character in a Text Box in InfoPath


You can add other characters in our original formula. In our example, we just converted all the texts and no other special characters are involved. This also works for text box and rich text box.
Fb Comments
Comments :


  1. Intuitive, thanks.

  2. What if I want it to count the characters and not the words?

    1. Can you clarify? In the guide above, we are counting the character semicolon (;).