How to Do a Word Count in Microsoft Word

Sometimes it is vital to know the number of words in a document, especially where the word limit is pre-defined. It could be when you are submitting some online forms or writing answers. Knowing the word count is also necessary when you’re writing an article, a book, or an essay for a school project.




Fortunately, Microsoft Word allows you to do a word count easily on any document. Let’s explore how to do that on Windows, macOS, an Android phone, and an iPhone.


How to Do a Word Count in Microsoft Word on Windows

There are three ways you can do a word count in a Word document on Windows.

1. Word Count on the Status Bar

Begin by opening the Word app or any Word document on your Windows PC.

If you’re working on a new blank document, start typing. Word automatically counts the number of words after each space you give—and displays the word count on the status bar at the bottom of the document. Just check the status bar for the word count.

Word Count Showing on Status Bar in Microsoft Word

If you have opened a document you had worked on earlier, the number of words will show in the status bar. If no word count is visible on the status bar, right-click the status bar and click Word Count in the Customize Status Bar menu.


Word Count Option in Customize Status Bar Menu

You can also count the number of words in a portion of the text in the document. Select the text and check the status bar—it will display the word count in the following way: 23 of 87 words, as you can see in the screenshot below.

Word Count of Selected Text on Status Bar

You can even count the words of separate portions of text together. To do that, select the first text portion in the document, then press Ctrl and continue selecting the other portions of text. The combined word count of the different text portions will display on the status bar.


Combined Word Count of Multiple Text Selections

To know the number of document pages, paragraphs, characters, and lines along with the words, click the word count displayed on the status bar. The Word Count box will pop up with all the information.

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Word Count Box Open on Word Document

If you have text boxes in your document, the word count will also include the number of words in the text boxes.

2. Word Count via the Review Tab

Another way to get to the Word Count box is via the Review tab on the Word ribbon.

  1. On an open Word document, click on the Review tab on the ribbon.
  2. In the Proofing section on the ribbon, you will see the Word Count icon with lines and 123 written. Click on it, and the Word Count box will pop up with the word count and the number of pages, paragraphs, lines, and characters.


Check Word Count in Word Count Box Via Review Tab

The option to include footnotes, textboxes, and endnotes while counting words will be turned on by default in the Word Count box. If you want to turn it off, untick the box next to the option.

3. Word Count via the Quick Access Toolbar

If you prefer using Word’s Quick Access Toolbar, you can include the Word Count option in it.

Right-click the Word Count option in the Proofing section on the ribbon. Select Add to Quick Access Toolbar.

Option to Add Word Count in Quick Access Toolbar

The Word Count icon with the lines and 123 will now appear on top of the ribbon before the down-arrow menu of Customize Quick Access Toolbar.


Word Count Icon on Quick Access Toolbar

So now, you can open the Word Count box and do the word count by clicking on this Word Count icon on top of the ribbon—no need to first click the Review tab and then the Word Count icon.

Check Word Count from Quick Access Toolbar

If it’s needed, you can also insert the number of words that are in your document on the document itself.

First, click the place in the document where you want to add the word count. Then in the Insert tab, in the Text section, click Quick Parts > Field.


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Select Field in Quick Parts

In the Field names list, click NumWords, and then click OK.

NumWords Field in Filed List

The number of words will appear on the document. As you can see in the screenshot below, 91 words is showing.

Number of Words Inserted in Document

Yes, it’s easy to do a word count in Microsoft Word. However, if the Word app fails to open in Windows, you can explore these few fixes.


How to Do a Word Count in Microsoft Word on macOS

The Microsoft Word app is no different on macOS than on Windows. There is another way to do word count, as you will read below.

Launch the Word app from your Dock on your MacBook. Then open a document from the Recent documents list. To count the words in the open document, click on Tools on the top bar. Then in the Tools menu, click on Word Count.

Word Count Option in Tools Menu on a MacBook

The Word Count box will open with the count of the pages, words, characters, lines, and paragraphs.

Word Count Box in a Word Document on MacBook

To know the number of words in a portion of the text, make your text selection, and view the word count from the Word Count option in the Tools menu.


2. Word Count From the Status Bar

You can view the number of words in a document in the status bar on the lower-left part of the document. You’ll always find this word count displayed, and it will increase or decrease as you type more or delete text.

Moreover, you can also view the number of characters, lines, paragraphs, and other information in your Word for Mac, by clicking the word count in the status bar to open the Word Count box.

Word Count of Selected Text from Status Bar on MacBook

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Moreover, you can also view the word count in Apple Pages on your Mac, iPad, and iPhone.

How to Do a Word Count in the Word App on Mobile

It’s quite simple to do a word count in the Microsoft Word app on your mobile. Let’s see how.

  1. Open a document on the Word mobile app on your phone.
  2. On Android: Tap Edit on the toolbar at the bottom of the screen. A menu will appear on top of the screen. On this top menu, tap the Edit menu icon, which has a capital “A” with a pencil.
  3. On iPhone: When you open a document, the Edit menu icon with the capital “A” with a pencil will be on top of the screen. Tap on it.
  4. From the bottom of the screen, the Edit menu will open up. You will find a blue Home button with up and down arrow keys on top of the menu. Tap on it to view the options.


Then:

  1. Tap on Review. The Review menu will open.
  2. Now scroll down, and you will see the Word Count option with the icon of lines and 123. Tap on Word Count.
  3. The Word Count section will open with the number of Pages, Words, Characters with no spaces, and Characters with spaces. You’ll also find the option to include textboxes, footnotes, and endnotes turned on by default.

To know the number of words for a specific portion of text, tap and press the word from where you want to make the selection. The selection markers will appear, so just drag the second marker to the end of your selection. Now repeat the steps above.


The Word Count section will open, displaying the number of words in the selected text.

Work Better Knowing the Word Count in Microsoft Word

Indeed, many times knowing the number of words, pages, lines, and paragraphs in a Word document is vital for the work you’re doing. And now you know how to do that. If you find that the word count is not showing in Microsoft Word, read on to explore the ways to resolve that.

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