3 Ways to Count Words in a Microsoft Word Document

If you’re writing a document for work or school, knowing how many words it contains can be vital.

You might have a minimum word count needed for your homework assignment or that blog post you’re being paid to write.

Good news is word count statistics are very easy to find inside your Microsoft Word document.

You’ll also be able to find other basic stats like the number of pages, a character count, paragraph count, and total number of lines in the document.

In this post, you’ll learn 3 easy ways to get these essential document statistics.

Word Count in the Status Bar

At the bottom of Microsoft Word is the status bar and it will show you a live word count in your document as you type.

If you don’t see the word count in the status bar, then you need to enable it first. Right click on the status bar and make sure Word Count is checked in the menu.

Once it is enabled, you can see your current word count. If you left click on this counter, it will open a pop up menu containing more detailed stats for the current word document.

Word Count in the Ribbon

These same word count stats can also be found in the ribbon commands.

Go to the Review tab and click on Word Count command found in the Proofing section. This will open up the same stats pop up menu as from the status bar.

Partial Document Word Count

It is also possible to count the number of words in part of your document using all of the above methods.

All you need to do is highlight the text for which you want a count and then press on the Word Count to open up the pop up stats menu. Now the stats will be for only the selected text!

Word Count in the Quick Access Toolbar

If this is a command you’ll be using a lot, then you might want to add it to the Quick Access Toolbar so it always easily accessible to you.

Right click on the Word Count command then choose Add to Quick Access Toolbar from the options.

The word count command will now always be available at the top of your word document regardless of what ribbon tab is currently open.


Many times you will need to know the length of your document by knowing the exact number of words.

It’s a simple but useful trick you can use to help you make sure your work meets any length requirements.

What’s your favourite way? Let me know in the comments!

About the Author

John MacDougall

John MacDougall

John is a Microsoft MVP and freelance consultant and trainer specializing in Excel, Power BI, Power Automate, Power Apps and SharePoint. You can find other interesting articles from John on his blog or YouTube channel.

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