How to Check Word Count in Microsoft Word

Easily meet targets using this handy tracker

Latin words carved into marble.


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There are times when word count counts! Maybe you have to write a 1,000-word paper for class, develop a 300-word article for a work newsletter, or submit a 100-word bio for an online community.

You can easily check the word count on all or part of a document without opening a new window. Microsoft Word displays the word count in the status bar at the bottom of the screen. You can expand the word count tracker to get even more detailed information, such as character, line, and paragraph count.

This article applies to Word 2019, Word 2016, Word 2013, Word 2010, and Word for Office 365.

View Word Count in the Status Bar

To see the word count of your entire document at a glance, just look at the left-hand portion of the status bar at the bottom of your Word screen. It will say something like 502 words.

If you don't see the word count in the status bar:

  1. Right-click anywhere on the status bar. The Customize Status Bar menu appears.

    MS Word with Customize Status Bar menu displayed
  2. View the Word Count to see how many words your document has.

  3. To have the word count always visible on your status bar, select ​Word Count.

    MS Word with word count displayed on status bar

Word Count for Selected Text

To view the number of words in a specific sentence, paragraph, or section, select the text. The word count of the selected text displays on the left-hand size of the Word status bar, along with the word count for the entire document. It will say something like 95 of 502 words.

You can find the word count for several sections at the same time by making the first selection, then pressing and holding the Ctrl key on your keyboard while you make the other selections.

MS Word with sections of text highlighted

The Word Count Window

If you need more than just a simple word count, you can display the Word Count pop-up window, which shows the following information:

  • Number of pages
  • Number of words
  • Number of characters (no spaces)
  • Number of characters (with spaces)
  • Paragraphs
  • Lines

You can opt to include or exclude text boxes, footnotes, and endnotes.

To open the Word Count window, select the word count on the status bar. To close it, select Close or X.

MS Word with Word Count window displayed