Showing the Word Count in a Microsoft Word Document

Word Count, Characters, and Spaces in Word

You may need to know how many words are in your Microsoft Word document for a school or work assignment or to meet publishing requirements for a blog post or other document. Microsoft Word counts the words as you type and displays this information in a simple form in the status bar at the bottom of the document window. The information is displayed the same way in almost all versions of the software. For expanded statistics on character count, paragraphs, and other information, open the Word Count window.

Word Count in Word for PCs

rd Count in the Status Bar
Display the Word Count in the Status Bar. Photo © Rebecca Johnson

The word count for documents in Word 2016, Word 2013, Word 2010, and Word 2007 displays in the status bar located at the bottom of the document. The status bar displays how many words are in a document without requiring you to open another window.

Word 2010 and Word 2007 don't display the word count in the status bar automatically. If you don't see the word count displayed:

  1. Right-click on the status bar at the bottom of the document.
  2. Select Word Count from the Customize Status Bar options to display the word count.

Word Count in Word for Mac

Word for Mac 2011 Word Count
Word for Mac 2011 Word Count. Photo © Rebecca Johnson

Word for Mac 2011 displays the word count a little differently from the PC versions of Word. Instead of showing only the total word count, Word for Mac displays the words you highlight along with the total number of words in the document in the status bar at the bottom of the document. If no text is highlighted, the status bar displays only the word count for the entire document. 

You can also insert the cursor into the document rather than select text to display the word count up to the point of the insertion bar.

Counting Selected Text in Word for PCs

Word Count for Selected Text
Word Count for Selected Text. Photo © Rebecca Johnson

To view how many words are in a sentence or a paragraph in the Word versions for PCs, select the text. The word count of the selected text displays in the status bar at the bottom of the document.

You can count the words in several text boxes at the same time by pressing and holding Ctrl while you make the text selections.

You can also count the number of words in only part of your document by selecting the text and clicking Review > Word Count.

How to Open the Word Count Window

Word Count Window
Word Count Window. Photo © Rebecca Johnson

When you need more than a word count, additional information is available in the Word Count pop-up window. To open the Word Count Window in all versions of Word, click on the word count in the status bar at the bottom of the document. The Word Count Window contains information on the number of:

  • Pages in the document
  • Words
  • Characters, not counting spaces
  • Characters, with spaces
  • Paragraphs
  • Lines

Place a checkmark in the box next to Include Textboxes, Footnotes, and Endnotes if you want them included in the count.

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Johnson, Rebecca. "Showing the Word Count in a Microsoft Word Document." ThoughtCo, Jan. 14, 2018, thoughtco.com/word-count-in-microsoft-word-document-3540365. Johnson, Rebecca. (2018, January 14). Showing the Word Count in a Microsoft Word Document. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/word-count-in-microsoft-word-document-3540365 Johnson, Rebecca. "Showing the Word Count in a Microsoft Word Document." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/word-count-in-microsoft-word-document-3540365 (accessed January 17, 2018).