How to Display Word Count in Word

Get an accurate character count and word count in Microsoft Word

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If you're working on an academic paper, you may need to know if your Word document meets certain length requirements. Microsoft Word makes it easy to get an accurate count of the exact number of words in your document. In fact, there are multiple ways you can do so.

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

How to Display Word Count in Microsoft Word

To turn on the word count in Word, follow these steps:

  1. Open Word.

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

    Screenshot of Word Count in Customize Status Bar menu
  3. Select Word Count. The word count for the entire document will be displayed in the Status bar. If you want to see the word count for a particular selection, simply highlight the text you want to count.

    If you are using Word Online and do not see the word count at the bottom of the window, make sure you are in Editing view. Select Edit Document and choose Edit in Word for the web.

    How to Get Detailed Information on Word Count

    For more detailed information about your document's word count, follow these steps:

  4. Open the Word document for which you want to view the word count, character count, and other information.

  5. Select the Review tab.

    Screenshot of Word Count on Review tab
  6. Choose Word Count in the Proofing group. A box will display 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 MS Word with a Shortcut

You can use a keyboard shortcut to view a document's word count and other information.

  1. Open the Word document for which you want to view the word count, character count, and other information.

  2. Press Ctrl-Shift-G on the keyboard. The Word Count dialog box will open.

    Screenshot of Word Count dialog box
  3. Clear the Include Text Boxes, Footnotes and Endnotes check box if you do not want to include these in your word count.

  4. Select Close when you are finished.

If you are using Word for Mac and only want to count part of the words in your document, select the text you want to count. Go to the Tools menu and 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 use fields to insert the word count in your document.

  1. Open Word and click inside the document where you want the word count to appear.

  2. Select the Insert tab. Chose Quick Parts in the Text group and select Field.

    Screenshot of Field in Quick Parts menu
  3. Select NumWords in the Field names list and choose OK.

    Screenshot of Field dialog box showing NumWords
  4. Right-click the field you added and select Update Field any time you want to update the word count.

Word can update the word count automatically when you print the file. Go to File > Options > Display and select Update Fields before Printing under Printing Options.