Countif or counta to avoid counting "" cells

Experts,

Here is a quick count question for text. I want to count the number of cells that has any text in it from A2 to A200. The twist is that some of the cells appear to be empty but actually are just result of "".

So, first try is countif(A2:A200, "*"). It did not work. It count those cells with "".

Second try is counta(A2:A200), still not working. And I see in excel help that counta actually count everything including "".

So, what is best way to do it? or there is a way to make  a "" cell to become a really empty cell?

Thanks,
RDB
ResourcefulDBAsked:
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barry houdiniConnect With a Mentor Commented:
Try this version to count text with 1 or more characters. It won't count "formula blanks" or numbers

=COUNTIF(A2:A200, "?*")

regards, barry
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Danny ChildConnect With a Mentor IT ManagerCommented:
=rows(A2:A200)-COUNTBLANK(A2:A200)
 - should do it...
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