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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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
- On an open Word document, click on the Review tab on the ribbon.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
- In the Field names list, click NumWords, and then click OK.(Video) How to Count the Number of Words in MS Word | 2 Ways to Check a Word Count
- The number of words will appear on the document. As you can see in the screenshot below, 91 words is showing.
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.
1. Word Count From the Tools Menu
- 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.
- The Word Count box will open with the count of the pages, words, characters, lines, and paragraphs.
- 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.
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.
- Open a document on the Word mobile app on your phone.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
4 Images(Video) Word Count in Word | Everything you need to know | Microsoft Word Tutorial
- Then tap on Review. The Review menu will open.
- Now scroll down, and you will see the Word Count option with the icon of lines and 123. Tap on Word Count.
- 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.
3 Images(Video) How to Use Microsoft Word’s Word Count Tool
- 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 steps 2-6 from 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 fix that.
Is Microsoft Word Count accurate? ›
That is because different writing platforms have different ways of calculating the word count of a file. For instance, Google Docs and Microsoft Office will give you two different word counts—even though the text being processed is the same! Thus, they are not entirely reliable.How do I limit word count? ›
- Delete "The" You can often omit the word “the” from your text without losing any meaning. ...
- Erase “That” ...
- Remove Adverbs and Adjectives. ...
- Use Shorter Words. ...
- Trim Wordy Phrases. ...
- Choose Active Voice. ...
- Revise Needless Transitions. ...
- Eliminate Conjunctions.
- 1) Selectively remove articles “the” or “a” ...
- 2) Remove commas between spaces in citation numbers. ...
- 3) Eliminate spaces around “=” ...
- 4) For ranges, replace “to” with a hyphen. ...
- 5) Remove “that” ...
- 6) Replace “more than” or “less than” with “>” or “<”
- Cut out unnecessary words. ...
- Have you used too many examples to make an argument? ...
- Make sure your writing is relevant to the specific question(s) being asked. ...
- Use strong ideas and clear motifs. ...
- Check for repetition. ...
- Be direct. ...
- Ask how flexible the word limit is. ...
- Be brutal.
- 1 Look for redundancies in your argument. ...
- 2 Eliminate unnecessary or ancillary information. ...
- 3 Get to the point. ...
- 4 Delete the and that. ...
- 5 Eliminate unnecessary prepositional phrases. ...
- 6 Use an active voice. ...
- 7 Avoid unnecessary adverbs and adjectives. ...
- 1 Investigate the paper's topic more thoroughly.
Overall, it's best to stay within the word count limit or range — it's provided for a reason! Writing too much will likely result in your essay being cut off, and writing too little may cause readers to think that you aren't truly interested in their school. If no range is given, remember to stick to 400-600 words.What should you not count in word count? ›
Word count includes everything in the main body of the text (including headings, tables, citations, quotes, lists, etc). The list of references, appendices and footnotes2 are NOT included in the word count unless it is clearly stated in the coursework instructions that the module is an exception to this rule.Does text count as word count? ›
This can depend on your course requirements. The general rule is that word count includes everything in the main body of the text - including headings, tables, citations, quotes, lists, etc.Why are there word count limits? ›
Word limits, then, are not arbitrary or there to save money or time. They are there to help us as writers focus our thoughts, our reading and our research.What does word count limit mean? ›
The word limit will tell you what is the maximum number of words you are allowed to use to write the assignment. In some cases, there may also be a minimum number of words.
Do markers check word count? ›
Markers should check the word count of a submission by downloading the work from the submission package (eg Canvas) and highlighting the text which should be counted.Can word tell you how many times a word appears? ›
All you need to do is copy your entire document and paste it into NoteTab. Then, within NoteTab, choose Tools | Text Statistics | More. It presents an analysis of the word frequency, including percentages.How strict are college essay word limits? ›
Rarely will you see a word limit higher than around 650 words (over one single-spaced page). College essays are usually pretty short: between 150 and 650 words. Admissions officers have to read a lot of them, after all! Weigh your words carefully, because they are limited!What happens if you exceed the word limit? ›
If you exceed the word limit in a noticeable way, the admission officers may just stop reading your essay beyond the decided word count. What it means is that if you were asked to write an answer in 300 words, and you wrote it in about 350 words, they would simply not read the last 50 words.What happens when you exceed word limit? ›
Word limit penalties
Overlong essays will be penalised according to the following rule: 1% of the maximum obtainable mark will be deducted for every 100 words, or part thereof, over the word limit.
- Make sure you included everything on the rubric. ...
- Load up on transitional phrases. ...
- Spell out your numbers. ...
- Ditch the contractions. ...
- Use numerous examples. ...
- Add quotes. ...
- Start getting really descriptive about everything. ...
- Try to make your header longer.
It is possible to write under the word count and you will get no fixed penalty. But will it impact your score? Writing a short essay which is under 250 words will definitely impact your score and not in a good way.Is it okay if my college essay is over 650 words? ›
The online application won't accept essays that are below 250 words or over 650 words. Your essay must stay within the word count limit. So what should you aim for? The ideal word count for your Common App essay is between 500 and 650 words.How strict are professors on word count? ›
As a rule, a word count is a target. Get within 10% either way and you've met the requirement. A strong paper that goes 20% over or under might be acceptable, but with a warning. 30% or more might require a revision or suffer some grading down.Is it OK if my college essay is 700 words? ›
Main application essays are generally 500-650 words. For example, the Common Application, which can be used to apply to more than 800 colleges, requires an essay ranging from 250-650 words. Similarly, the Coalition Application, which has 150 member schools, features an essay with a recommended length of 500-550 words.
What counts as a word in a word count? ›
Unless you have selected some text, Word counts all text in the document, as well as the characters, and displays them in the Word Count box as the Statistics.Do you lose marks for word count? ›
Overlong essays will be penalised according to the following rule: 1% of the maximum obtainable mark will be deducted for every 100 words, or part thereof, over the word limit. So, exceeding the word limit by 1-100 words incurs a deduction of 1%; exceeding by 101- 200 words incurs a deduction of 2%; and so on.How many marks do you lose for word count? ›
You can lose marks for both not meeting the word count and going over it. Markers usually allow a buffer of 10%, which means if your word count limit is 1,000 words, you can go up to 1,100 words.How many paragraphs is a word count? ›
Below are estimated paragraphs to words conversions: 1 paragraph is 100 – 200 words for essays, 50 – 100 words for easy writing. 2 paragraphs is 200 – 400 words for essays, 100 – 200 words for easy writing. 3 paragraphs is 300 – 600 words for essays, 150 – 300 words for easy writing.Do spaces count as words in word count? ›
It's less common to need the character count, but it's just as easy to find via the ribbon's Review tab. Word tracks many statistics for you: the total number of pages, paragraphs, line, words, and characters. Word distinguishes between the total number of characters in your document with or without including spaces.Does word count include paragraphs? ›
The word count menu shows you how many words you have in your document, along with the number of pages, characters, lines, and even paragraphs.How do I limit characters per line? ›
A Page Setup dialog box will display, go to Document Grid tab, and check the box of Specify line and character grid. You could specify the value under Characters to limit the characters per line and modify the value under Lines to limit the lines per page.Why 80 characters per line? ›
While probably not the original reason for the 80 character limit, a reason that it was accepted widely is simply reading ergonomics: If lines are too short, text becomes hard to read because you must constantly jump from one line to the next while reading.Is there a text character limit? ›
A single SMS message technically supports up to 160 characters, or up to 70 if the message contains one or more Unicode characters (such as emoji or Chinese characters).What does character count limit mean? ›
Character count helps users know how much text they can enter when there is a limit on the number of characters.
What is character limit? ›
Most of the time, spaces, letters of the alphabet, numbers, and punctuation all count toward a character limit. For example, if you are composing a tweet, the 280-character limit includes everything you type.Does a line break count as a character? ›
\n is a way of representing a newline character in various languages and programs but as the name suggests, a newline is only stored in a file as a single character.Is it 47 lines or 4000 characters? ›
4000 characters (not words, so includes spaces) or 47 lines of text, whichever comes first. No formatting such as bold, underline or italics. Avoid using any non-standard characters (standard characters in this context . , ; #) £ signs will be replaced by GBP and this can impact the character count.What is 80 character rule? ›
The 80 character's limit has its roots in IBM Punch Card where the data or instructions were stored on card. The earlier days did not have any magnetic tapes and all to share data with other computers etc. You can only store Maximum 80 of Characters on the punch card.