Microsoft Word includes a word counter that helps you keep track of the number of words you have typed in your documents. This is really useful when you are working with documents that require a certain word count or have a certain word limit Word counting in Microsoft Word also helps you count characters.
There are several ways to access word counts in Word. You can use the status bar, open the word count window, and even add the live word counter as a field to your document. You can also view the word and character counts in Word for the web.
Show word count as you type in Microsoft Word
Microsoft Word has a real-time word counter that counts words as you type into a document and allows you to view them in the status bar. You don’t need to open any menus or windows to access it.
This is useful when you want the tracker to count the words that you enter into a file in real time.
- Open Word from the Start menu on your computer.
- Start a new document or open an existing one to see the word count.
- In the lower left corner of the screen, you will see a counter of your words. It displays the total number of words that are on all pages of your currently open document.
- If you don’t see the word count, right-click the status bar at the bottom of the screen and select the Word Count option. This will add the word count to the status bar.
Find a count for the specified words
If you have a large Word document and want to find word counts for selected text only in Word, you can also do this using the same word count feature.
This will work for all pages in the current document, but not for multiple Word documents You need to count words for multiple documents separately using this method.
- Right-click the Word document, choose Open With and select Word.
- Select the text for which you want to find the word count. You can select as many blocks of text as you like on any page in your document.
- Look at the status bar at the bottom and there will be XX words from YY. XX is the number of words for the selected text, and YY is the total number of words in your document.
Show letter and word count in more detail
By default, the status bar displays a limited amount of information, such as the number of words and characters. If you want to access more detailed information such as the number of pages and paragraphs, the number of characters with and without spaces, you need to open the “Word Count” window.
This box opens from Word on your computer.
- Open the document in Word on your computer.
- Find the tab labeled Review at the top and click it.
- Find the section labeled “Spelling” and select the “Word Count” option.
- A small window will open on the screen where you can view the word count and other information about the document.
- You can deselect the Include Text Fields, Footnotes, and Endnotes option if you do not want to include them in the word count.
- When finished, click Close Word Count View.
Add word count to your document
Word allows you to display word counts as a field in your document. This allows the word count to be displayed anywhere in the document. The counter will appear as plain text and you can apply your formatting and styles to it if you like.
- Open your document in Word.
- Place the cursor where you want. want to display word count.
- Click the menu item labeled Paste at the top.
- Find the section with the text “Text” and select the “Quick Parts” option.
- Select “Field” from the options available on your screen.
- On the left, you will see a list of fields that you can add to your document. Find the box that says NumWords, select it and hit the OK button at the bottom.
- The word count will be displayed at the location you select in the document.
- When you add new words to your document, you will need to manually update the word count. To do this, right-click the word count in the document and select Update Field.
View word count in Microsoft Word Online
If you are using the online version of Microsoft Office, you also have word count functionality in Word Online. You can access it in much the same way as the desktop version.
- Go to the Office website and sign in to access the Office applications.
- Either create a new document or edit an existing one.
- Click the Review tab on the top menu bar.
- Click the Word Count option to view the word count in the current document.
Add word count to MS Word Online status bar
You can also display the current word count in the status bar in the online version of Office To do this, you only need to enable the corresponding setting in Word for the web.
- Open your document in Word for the web.
- Click the Review tab at the top.
- Click the down arrow icon next to Word Count.
- Select the Show word count check box.
- The current word count will be displayed in the status bar at the bottom of the screen.
- Right-click the status bar in Word and clear the Word Count check box.
- Right-click the status bar again and select the Word Count check box.
What to do if Word count is not working
If the word count does not automatically update in the status bar, or if the count dims from time to time, there are several things you can do to fix these issues.
Restart your computer
Turning off and then restarting your computer should resolve the issue where the word count does not update on its own.
Disable and enable word count
You can try turning off word counting and then turning it on to see if that fixes the issue when the count dims from time to time.
If you want to count word counts for multiple documents, you can merge your documents together and Word will show word counts for all your documents.