How to Display Word Count in Word

Get an accurate character count and word count in Microsoft Word

When you work on blog posts, technical manuals, academic papers, and other documents, you may need to know how many words are in the document or the number of characters in the title. Microsoft Word contains multiple ways to get an accurate count of the number of words or characters in a document. Word also calculates the number of words or characters in selected blocks of text.

Instructions in this article apply to Word for Microsoft 365, Word 2019, Word 2016, Word 2013, Word 2010, and Word Online.

How to Display Word Count in Microsoft Word

To turn on the word count in Word:

  1. Open Word.

  2. Right-click the Status bar at the bottom of the window.

  3. Select Word Count.

    Word Count option in Word
  4. The word count for the entire document displays in the Status bar.

    In Word Online, if the word count doesn't display at the bottom of the window, select Edit Document and choose Edit in Word for the web.

  5. To display the word count for a particular selection, highlight the text you want to count.

How to Get Detailed Information on Word Count

To view more detailed information about the word count:

  1. Open the Word document.

  2. Go to the Review tab.

  3. In the Proofing group, choose Word Count.

    Word Count button in Word
  4. The Word Count dialog box lists the number of pages, word count, character count, paragraph count, and line count. You can opt not to include text boxes, footnotes, and endnotes.

How to View Word Count in Microsoft Word With a Shortcut

To use a keyboard shortcut to view the word count and other information:

  1. Open the Word document.

  2. Press Ctrl+Shift+G.

  3. In the Word Count dialog box, clear the Include text boxes, footnotes and endnotes checkbox if you don't want to include these in the word count.

    WOrd Count dialog box in Word
  4. Select Close when you're finished.

In Word for Mac, to count part of the words in a document, select the text you want to count, go to the Tools menu, then select Word Count.

How to Show the Word Count in a Field

Another way to display the word count of a document in Word is to add a field to the document.

To display the word count in a field:

  1. Place the cursor where you want the word count to appear.

  2. Go to the Insert tab.

  3. In the Text group, select Quick Parts, then choose Field.

    Field menu item in Word
  4. In the Field names list, choose NumWords, then select OK.

    NumWords for Field in Word
  5. Right-click the field and select Update Field to update the word count.

Word updates the word count automatically when you print the file. Select File > Options > Display, then go to the Printing options section and select Update fields before printing.

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