# SolvedCounting multiple checkboxes (2 Viewers)

#### dobseh

##### New member
Hi

I have a table that has a (text) name field and five checkbox fields in it (representing days of the week Mon-Fri), which is part of a class booking system where people can pick which day(s) they want to attend. I need a way of counting the number of checkboxes each record has ticked in two different ways:

1) Count the number of days for each record individually.

For example:

User A has Monday, Tuesday and Friday checked, I need this to return the count as 3
User B has Wednesday ticked, I need this to return a count as 1
User C has Wednesday and Thursday checked, I need this to return a count as 2.

I can easily enough count records with 1 check box ticked using OR's and 5 checked using AND's, but I don't know the best way to enumerate all the possible permutations of 2, 3 and 4 tick boxes without writing multiple select statements for each variation.

2) Count the total number of people who have each permuation of checkboxs ticked.

For example:
There are X people with Monday and Friday checked
There are Y people with Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday checked
There are Z people with Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday checked

Counting the number of people with all five days checked I can do with AND's, but again the way to simply do all the others is beyond my understanding at this point!

The first of the two parts of this question is by far the more important, if the second is not easily solvable than I can live with that. I'm not a programmer or a SQL expert, my background is IT infrastructure, so please be gentle!

#### Gasman

##### Enthusiastic Amateur
You should have a record for each day, with a field saying what day it is. Then a simple query gets you your information.

#### dobseh

##### New member
You should have a record for each day, with a field saying what day it is. Then a simple query gets you your information.
Sorry, I've just realised by post was unclear, the name and the checkboxes are not the only fields in that table, there are fields such as contact info for each individual who has signed up as well. The count of number of days signed up for (the first part of the question) is so that each individual can be billed. I'm not clear how your suggestion fixes my problem, could you expand on what you mean please?

#### Gasman

##### Enthusiastic Amateur
OK. It really sounds as if your DB is not normalized.?
You would have a table for contacts. You would also have a table for ContactDays, where a record would exist for each day a contact has signed up for.?

This is all very simplistic, but with a well structured DB, you do not have to jump though hoops getting the information you want, as you are doing now.
Imagine it was not days of the week, but days of the year? Are you going to have 365/366 fields to indicate what day?
DB tables are generally thin and deep, not wide and shallow like an Excel worksheet. If you come from an Excel background, you need to start from scratch.

#### dobseh

##### New member
Oh right, I understand, and I understand how it *should* be, unfortunately I inherited this database from someone who used it like a flatfile so basically everything is in one table. To give you an idea this thing was originally written for Access 97, when that version was new.

I should say though that this is a course that runs for one week a year, so having a checkbox per day isn't world ending like it would be in your example of 365 days. I've also had it dropped on me with an incredibly tight timeframe for getting this working, so redoing it from scratch really isn't an option at this stage. I'm sure everyone has been there with the pain of a "You know IT, could you have a quick look at this for me" type request from family and friends.

#### Uncle Gizmo

##### Nifty Access Guy
Staff member
I agree that it appears your dB structure could be improved.

I have an example on my website here which might be of interest:-

#### dobseh

##### New member
I agree that it appears your dB structure could be improved.

I have an example on my website here which might be of interest:-
As mentioned above - appreciate that the structure is not ideal, but there just isn't enough time for me to rewrite the whole thing at this late stage.
The link is interesting but to do what I want to do with that method wouldn't it require going to each record in a form rather than a query I can run against the table as a whole?

#### Gasman

##### Enthusiastic Amateur
OK, my best offer is a Union query, one for each checkbox, and count those. Fortunately you only need 5.

#### MarkK

##### bit cruncher
Presumably your checkbox fields in the underlying table are booleans. If so--and if I understand the problem correctly--you should be able to just subtract them together (because the True values will be -1) like...
Code:
``````SELECT FirstName & ' ' & Lastname As Fullname,  -IsMonday - IsTuesday - IsWednesday - IsThursday - IsFriday As WeekdayCount
FROM YourTable``````

#### strive4peace

##### AWF VIP
hi @dobseh

> I inherited this database from someone

while that is the case, doesn't mean you need to keep the same bad structure. Normalizing will reduce development time down the road and make everything in the future go a lot smoother. To convert data:

1. create cross-reference table
2. make and run append queries to add records

> Count the number of days for each record individually

often, instead of storing YesNo, it is better to store a date ... then you should probably have a DateTypes table that defines different date types and the order in which they would normally occur

#### dobseh

##### New member
Presumably your checkbox fields in the underlying table are booleans. If so--and if I understand the problem correctly--you should be able to just subtract them together (because the True values will be -1) like...
Code:
``````SELECT FirstName & ' ' & Lastname As Fullname,  -IsMonday - IsTuesday - IsWednesday - IsThursday - IsFriday As WeekdayCount
FROM YourTable``````
You sir, are a star, this answers the first part of the question perfectly, thank you!

I think I'm going to abandon the idea of the second point, I might shove the data into Excel and mangle it that way if it's REALLY needed by the end user.

#### strive4peace

##### AWF VIP
adding on ... while you can use duct tape and bailing wire to get what you want, do you always want to jump through hoops?

question: do you have control over the data structure?

#### CJ_London

##### Super Moderator
Staff member
Check boxes store their values as Boolean (-1=true, 0=false) and cannot be null so your first requirement would simply adding the field names

-chb1-chb2-chb3 etc

use - to convert the -1’s to +1’s

For your 2nd requirement group by all the checkboxes and include a count so you can see the numbers for each permutation

#### dobseh

##### New member
adding on ... while you can use duct tape and bailing wire to get what you want, do you always want to jump through hoops?

question: do you have control over the data structure
I do now, yes. As mentioned above this was dropped on me very late and the original database has evolved(for want of a more derogatory term) over 25 years to the state it is in now. As an example of that state I just did `? CurrentDb.TableDefs("tblFoo").RecordCount` on the main table and it has 150 fields. I'm going to suggest to the DB owner that after this course has finished I take a look at either ripping it out and starting again or doing something with the mess.

I'm not a database person or a programmer, but I have spent 20 years in IT, so any resources that would help with that process would honestly be appreciated.

#### dobseh

##### New member
Check boxes store their values as Boolean (-1=true, 0=false) and cannot be null so your first requirement would simply adding the field names

-chb1-chb2-chb3 etc

use - to convert the -1’s to +1’s

For your 2nd requirement group by all the checkboxes and include a count so you can see the numbers for each permutation
Thank you, this chimes with what MarkK wrote and i've tested and it gives me the count I need.

So would that second bit be:

SQL:
``````select chkbox1, chckbox2, chckbox3, chkbox4, chkbox5, count(*)
from table
group by chkbox1, chckbox2, chckbox3, chkbox4, chkbox5``````

or have I misunderstood?

#### strive4peace

##### AWF VIP
hi @dobseh

> 150 fields

wow! That definitely indicates a structure that could benefit by being normalized!

I suspect many of the tables were created by importing. The import wizard is OLD! And doesn't set (or not set) properties that are good to use now. Best to examine the table design and adjust field properties.

> not a database person or a programmer, but I have spent 20 years in IT, so any resources that would help with that process would honestly be appreciated

here's a short book on Access -- wrote it many years ago but the basic principles still apply

once you've read this and are ready for more, let me know ...

> group by chkbox1, chckbox2, chckbox3, chkbox4, chkbox5

I doubt this will work efficiently ... or even do what you want either!

#### MarkK

##### bit cruncher
You could also store position AND state in a single number using a bitmask like....
Code:
``SELECT -IsMonday - IsTuesday * 2 - IsWednesday * 4 - IsThursday * 8 - IsFriday * 16 As Attributes``
Each unique combination would yield a unique Attributes value. To perform aggregate functions, GROUP BY Attributes.

To see if a particular day is set, do bitmath like...
Code:
``````Property Get IsTuesdayOn(Attributes as Long) As Boolean
IsTuesdayOn = (Attributes AND 2) = 2
End Property``````

This is tricky if you don't see it, but might offer some simplicities if you do.

#### dobseh

##### New member
hi @dobseh

> 150 fields

wow! That definitely indicates a structure that could benefit by being normalized!

I suspect many of the tables were created by importing. The import wizard is OLD! And doesn't set (or not set) properties that are good to use now. Best to examine the table design and adjust field properties.

> not a database person or a programmer, but I have spent 20 years in IT, so any resources that would help with that process would honestly be appreciated

here's a short book on Access -- wrote it many years ago but the basic principles still apply

once you've read this and are ready for more, let me know ...

> group by chkbox1, chckbox2, chckbox3, chkbox4, chkbox5

I doubt this will work efficiently ... or even do what you want either!
Thank you, it's mainly the normalisation that I need to learn about, so will have a read though and see how I can apply the concepts to this db.

The query as I wrote it gave me this output

Which matches up with data actually in the table. Don't ask why Thursday is the only day not abbreviated in the table - I don't know!

#### dobseh

##### New member
You could also store position AND state in a single number using a bitmask like....
Code:
``SELECT -IsMonday - IsTuesday * 2 - IsWednesday * 4 - IsThursday * 8 - IsFriday * 16 As Attributes``
Each unique combination would yield a unique Attributes value. To perform aggregate functions, GROUP BY Attributes.

To see if a particular day is set, do bitmath like...
Code:
``````Property Get IsTuesdayOn(Attributes as Long) As Boolean
IsTuesdayOn = (Attributes AND 2) = 2
End Property``````

This is tricky if you don't see it, but might offer some simplicities if you do.
I think I need to read up on bitmask/bitmath to understand this to be honest, thank you for the additional idea though.

#### dobseh

##### New member
Thank you to everyone who responded, I didn't expect such a speedy and helpful bunch of people to show up to try to help me

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