How to Check Word Count in Microsoft Word

Easily meet targets using this handy tracker

Latin words carved into marble.

Spyros Arsenis / Getty Images

There are times when word count counts. For example, when you're asked 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. 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. Or, expand the word count tracker to get detailed information, such as character, line, and paragraph count.

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

View Word Count in the Status Bar

To see the word count of an entire document at a glance, look at the left side of the status bar at the bottom of the 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 to display the Customize Status Bar menu.

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

    Word with the word count highlighted
  3. To display the word count in the status bar, select ​Word Count.

    Microsoft Word with the word count highlighted

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 side of the Word status bar, along with the word count for the entire document. It will say something like 95 of 502 words.

To find the word count for several sections at the same time, make the first selection, then hold the Ctrl key while you make the other selections.

A document in Word with the word count of selected text highlighted

The Word Count Window

If you need more than a simple word count, 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

To open the Word Count window, select the word count on the status bar. Or, go to the Review menu and, in the Proofing group, select Word Count.

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

To close the Word Count window, select Close or X.

MS Word with Word Count window displayed
Was this page helpful?