Featured - How to Check a Word Count in Microsoft Word

Knowing the word count is important for almost every form of writing, whether it’s a novel, advertisement, or homework assignment. We’re going to show you how to check the Word count and character count in Microsoft Word using its built-in tools.

Checking word count in Word is easy

Before we start, we should make it clear that there are several ways to do a word count in Word, and we won’t be covering all of them. Instead, we’ll be prioritizing the methods that give you the most information and flexibility.

As well as showing you how to see the word count on Word for the entire document, we’ll cover counting specific paragraphs. We’ll also walk you through the same functions on Microsoft’s free Word Online tool, which you can access via your browser. Let’s get started:

How to Check the Word Count for an Entire Document in Microsoft Word

If you just want a simple Word count, you don’t need look any further than the “x words” counter at the bottom left of your Word document. If you need more information, however, such as the Word character count, number of paragraphs, and lines, follow along below:

  1. Open the “Review” tab of your ribbon and press “Word Count” on the left-hand side

    Word should present you with the following statistics:

    – Pages
    – Words
    – Characters (no spaces)
    – Characters (with spaces)
    – Paragraphs
    – Lines

    You can exit the Word count screen once you’ve read the information by pressing the “Close” button or the “x” in its top-right corner.

    Windows 11 - Word - Review - Word Count - Result

     

  2. OR: Open the word counter by pressing the “x words” button in the bottom left of your document

    That’s right – as well as showing your Microsoft Word word count in real-time, this widget gives you quick access to supplementary character count and paragraph information.

    Windows 11 - Word - Click On Word Count - Result

How to Find the Word Count for a Specific Paragraph in Microsoft Word

Knowing the word count or character count for an entire document is useful, but sometimes you need to get more specific. Different parts of your text may have different requirements or you might want to see if a paragraph or sentence is too long.

Here’s how to count words or characters in Word for a certain bit of text:

  1. Select the text, open the “Review” tab of the ribbon, and press “Word Count” on the left

     

    The Microsoft Word word count dialog will pop up with all of the information you need to know.

    Windows 11 - Word - Select Paragraph - Review - Word Count - Result

  2. OR: Select the text and press the “x of x words” counter in the bottom left of your document

    The same Word Count pop-up will surface, showing you the word count, character count, line count, and more. Press “Close” to get rid of it when you’re done.

    Windows 11 - Word - Select Paragraph - Word Count - Result

How to Count Characters and Words on Word Online

If you use Microsoft Word Online, the process to count words and characters is very similar to above, with some minor UI changes. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Go to Office Online and open your Word document

    You can open Office Online by clicking on this link. You’ll have to log in with your Microsoft account if you haven’t already.

    Windows 11 - Office.com - Open Doc

  2. Open the “Review” tab of your ribbon and press “Word Count” on the left-hand side

    The word counter will appear with your word, character, and paragraph count. You’ll notice that some information is missing when compared to Word’s desktop app. This includes the line count and page count.

    Windows 11 - Office.com - Doc - Review - Word Count - Result

  3. Or: press the “x words” widget in the bottom left of your browser window

    This will display the exact same information, but is slightly quicker to do.

    Windows 11 - Office.com - Doc - Word Count - Result

How to do a Word Count in Word Online for a Specific Paragraph

If you need to see the word count or character count for a specific paragraph, the process is pretty much the same. Just select the text you want to count first:

  1. Select the text, open the “Review” tab, and press “Word Count”

     

    Windows 11 - Office.com - Doc - Select Section - Review - Word Count - Result

  2. OR: Select the text and press the “x of x words” button in the bottom-left of your window

     

    Windows 11 - Office.com - Doc - Select Section - Word Count - Result

Extra: How to Add Page Numbers in Word

Now that you know how to count characters, words, and pages in Word, you may want to display some of that information to your readers. Our existing tutorial on how to add page numbers in Word will grant you an automatically updating page number at the bottom of all your pages.

Extra: How to Add Line Numbers in Microsoft Word

If you want to take it a step further, you can also follow our tutorial on how to add line numbers in Word. Don’t worry, we’ll also show you how to remove them if you don’t like them.