Microsoft Word includes a word counter that helps you keep track of the number of words you’ve typed in your documents. It is very useful when you are working on documents that require a certain number of words or have a certain word limit. This word count in Microsoft Word also helps in character counting.
There are several ways to access word count 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 check the word and character count in Word online.
View word count as you type in Microsoft Word
Microsoft Word has a real-time word counter that counts the words as you type in your document and you can 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 a live tracker to count the words you type in your file.
- Open Word from the Start menu on your computer.
- Start a new document or open your existing document to see the word count.
- In the lower left corner of your screen you will see the word count. It displays the total number of words present 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 your screen and choose the Number of words choice. This will add the word counter to the status bar.
Find count for the selected words
If you have a large Word document and you just want to find the word count in Word for selected text, you can also do that with the same word counter function.
This works for all pages in your current document, but not for multiple Word documents. You need to count words for multiple documents separately using this method.
- Right click on your Word document, select open withand choose Word†
- Select the text for which you want to search the word count. You can select as many blocks of text as you want on any page of the document.
- Take a look at the status bar at the bottom and it will say XX of YY words† XX is the number of words for the selected text and YY is the total number of words in your document.
View character and word count with more details
By default, the status bar shows only a limited amount of information, such as the number of words and characters. To access more details, such as number of pages and paragraphs, number of characters with and without spaces, open the Word Count box.
This box opens from Word on your computer.
- Open your document in Word on your machine.
- Find the tab with the text Review at the top and click on it.
- Find the part that says: proofing and click on the Number of words option in it.
- A small box will open on your screen where you can view the word count and other details for your document.
- You can deselect Include text boxes, footnotes, and endnotes option if you don’t want to include them in your word count.
- Click Close to when you are done viewing the word count.
Add some words to your document
Word allows you to display word count as a field in your document. This allows you to display the word count anywhere in your document. The count is displayed as normal text and you can apply your formatting and styles to it if you want.
- Open your document in Word†
- Place the cursor where you want to display the word count.
- Click on the menu item that says: Insert on the top.
- Find the part that says: Text and click on the Quick Parts option in it.
- To elect Field from the options available on your screen.
- On the left, you’ll see a list of fields you can add to your document. Find the field that says: NumWordsselect it and click the Okay button at the bottom.
- The word count will appear in your chosen location in your document.
- When you add new words to the document, you must manually update the word count. To do this, right-click on the word count in your document and choose Update field†
View Word Count in Microsoft Word Online
If you use the online version of Microsoft Office, you also have the word count feature 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 your account to access the Office apps.
- Create a new document or edit an existing document.
- Click on the Review tab in the top menu bar.
- Click on the Number of words option to view the word count in your current document.
Add some words to the status bar in MS Word Online
You can also view the live word count in the status bar in the online version of Office. All you need to do is enable an option in Word Online.
- Open your document in Word online.
- Click on the Review tab at the top.
- Click the down arrow next to Number of words†
- Tick the . at Show word count choice.
- You will see the current word count in the status bar at the bottom of your screen.
What to do if word count in Word not working?
If the word count doesn’t update automatically in the status bar or the counter dims every now and then, there are a few things you can do to fix these issues.
Restart your computer
Turn your computer off and on again should solve the problem where the word counter doesn’t refresh on its own.
Disable and enable word count
You can try disabling the word count and then enabling it to see if that fixes the problem where the counter is dimming every now and then.
- Right click on the status bar in Word and uncheck it Number of words†
- Right click on the status bar again and check Number of words†
If you want to count words for multiple documents, you can merge your documents and Word will show the word count for all your documents.