Excel Spreadsheet Formula - BROKEN INTO 2 QUESTIONS!

I have a multi-tabed Excel Spreadsheet Report.  Each Page contains a Page Number in the following format:
                           - 12 -
The reports begin with Tab2.  The first page of Tab2 reports (generally two pages long) gets it page number from a user supplied entry on Tab1.
If the user supplied value in cell D53 of Tab1 contains the number 3, this formula, in B69 of Tab2
                       ="- "&(Tab1!$D$53)&" -"
Yields the following results:
                       - 3 -
If want cell B144 of Tab2 to increment this number by 1.
If the Tab2 report is three pages long, there could be a value in B217!  If so, I would want the resulting value in B217 incremented by 1.
I cannot do this with VBA.  That is beyond my expertise.
Bill GoldenExecutive Managing MemberAsked:
Who is Participating?

[Product update] Infrastructure Analysis Tool is now available with Business Accounts.Learn More

I wear a lot of hats...

"The solutions and answers provided on Experts Exchange have been extremely helpful to me over the last few years. I wear a lot of hats - Developer, Database Administrator, Help Desk, etc., so I know a lot of things but not a lot about one thing. Experts Exchange gives me answers from people who do know a lot about one thing, in a easy to use platform." -Todd S.

Danny ChildIT ManagerCommented:
If you can post an example of what you have so far, that would be helpful.

I'd suggest an alternative way of generating the layout you want.  Instead of using a formula, use a Custom Format for those cells of
" - "0" - "

Copy the line above, in bold
To apply this, highlight the cells in question, and then press CTRL + 1
This is the shorcut for the Number Format dialog box.  Select Custom from the Category List, and paste in the line above, just below where it says Type:

The advantage of this is that the numbers stay as numbers, and it's easier to change their values later.
Danny ChildIT ManagerCommented:
OK, I'm not following your explanation totally, but here's what I think it means.

You want one sheet (Tab 2, col B) to check for numbers in another sheet (Tab 1, col D), and to increase the count by one for every page it goes down.

I've cobbled something together here, hope it's useful?
Danny ChildIT ManagerCommented:
Your other question seems related but remarkably similar, but also talks about different tabs - Tab 2 and 3, not 1 and 2.  Could you clarify, please?

Experts Exchange Solution brought to you by

Your issues matter to us.

Facing a tech roadblock? Get the help and guidance you need from experienced professionals who care. Ask your question anytime, anywhere, with no hassle.

Start your 7-day free trial
Bill GoldenExecutive Managing MemberAuthor Commented:
Excellent solution.  Building on that solution to accomplish another task.
Danny ChildIT ManagerCommented:
Glad it helped, let us know if more explanation needed.
It's more than this solution.Get answers and train to solve all your tech problems - anytime, anywhere.Try it for free Edge Out The Competitionfor your dream job with proven skills and certifications.Get started today Stand Outas the employee with proven skills.Start learning today for free Move Your Career Forwardwith certification training in the latest technologies.Start your trial today
Microsoft Excel

From novice to tech pro — start learning today.