Check word count

Check word counts in documents

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When you need to know how many words, pages, characters, paragraphs, or lines are in a document, check the status bar.

Check the number of words in a document

  • Check the status bar to see the number of words of your document.

    Status bar showing total word count

  • For a partial word count, select the words you want to count. The status bar shows the word count for that selection and for the entire document.

    Status bar showing word count of selected text

Find the number of Characters, Paragraphs, and Lines

  • Click on the word count in the status bar.

    Word Count dialog box

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Show the word count (and more)

There are lots of situations where knowing exactly how many words are in a document can be important.

Just think about freelance writers who are paid by the word, or students who have specific requirements for research papers.

Let's see how you can really take control of word count or character count in a document.

First, I want you to take a look at the bottom left corner of the Microsoft Word window.

I can see the word count is listed here. So for my document, I can see I have 14 pages, and I have 2,117 words in this document.

Okay, so that's it, end of topic, right? Well for some people it is, and that's perfectly fine, but take a look at this.

I can click on where the word count is listed and it opens up this little window, and it gives me so much more information.

Page count, Word count, Character count, both with spaces and without spaces.

Really useful stuff, and when I'm done of course, I can hit Close to close this window.

But before I do that, let's think about something.

This document has 2,117 words in it.

What if I need to get that down under a limit of 2,000 words?

How much would I need to cut?

Well it's kind of hard for me to visualize how much text is in 117 words.

Well take a look at this.

I'm going to close this window, and let's look at this welcome page from the CEO.

I want to see how much text is in this welcome message, so what I'm going to do is I'm going to select the text on this page, and this is just one small section of my document.

Now when I take a look at the Word Count down at the bottom left corner, I can see this is 152 of 2,117 words, so what I have selected is 152 words.

I can start to think, well, would this be a good amount of content to cut out to get me under that 2,000 word limit? I think it may be.

But also take a look at this. I'm going to click on the Word count button again to open up this window, and you can see the information that I have here applies specifically to the text that I have selected.

So it's one page, it's 152 words, and so on.

So with a specific amount of text selected, I can see exactly how many words, characters, paragraphs, pages, and so on, are represented by what I have selected.

This is going to help me figure out if there's a single paragraph or page or chunk of text that I can cut to get down to that 2,000 word limit.

So that's the very small but very useful word count and character count tool.

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