How to Count Words In Microsoft Word

By: HowStuffWorks.com Contributors  | 

Typing out essays and theses on a computer is obligatory in colleges and universities nowadays. Most academic documents are restricted in length, be it 1,000 or 80,000 words. It's important to stay within the limit, as exceeding the limit can incur a penalty. Similarly, writing too few words can cost you marks [source: City University]. Most people type out their documents in Microsoft Word. However not everyone is familiar with Word's many little tricks. Here's how to count the number of words in your document using Microsoft Word.

In order to count words, the computer has to know what words you want to count. You tell it this information by highlighting the text in question. If this is the entire document, press the Ctrl key and press the A key at the same time. This will highlight the whole text. You can remove your fingers and the text will remain highlighted.

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Here's how to count words in Microsoft Word 2003:

  1. Select Tools from the tool bar on the top of the page.
  2. Select Word Count from the dropdown menu that appears. A box will appear, giving you information about the text that you highlighted, including the number of words it contains.
  3. Include the words in the footnotes and endnotes if those words are counted in the total number of words allowed in your paper. Simply click on Include footnotes and endnotes, in the lower left corner of the box, and these words will be included in the total number of words [source: Microsoft].

Here's how to count words in Microsoft Word 2007:

  1. Highlight the text whose words you would like to count. The number of words you've highlighted will be displayed on the status bar at the bottom of the screen, as a fraction of the total number of words in the document.
  2. Include footnotes in the word count by selecting Review on the toolbar. Then select Proofing, and then Word Count. Select Include Textboxes, Footnotes and Endnotes. The total number of words counted will be displayed in the status bar [source: Microsoft].

Originally Published: Jun 30, 2011

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Count Words in Word FAQ

How do I get the word count in Word?
To see the number of words in a whole document, simply find the word count in the status bar at the bottom left of the page. Alternatively, ensure no text is highlighted and right click to see a status bar and select “Word Count.”
How do you count the number of words in a paragraph?
To get the word count of a specific paragraph in MS Word, use your cursor to click and drag over the text until it’s highlighted. Then check the displayed word count in the lower left status bar.
What is the shortcut key for word count?
In Microsoft Word, the keyboard shortcut for opening the word count dialog box is Ctrl + Shift + G.
How do I count the words in a Word table?
You can count the number of words in Tables in a Word document by holding down on left click and scrolling down until the whole table has been highlighted. The number of words in the table will appear at the bottom of the Word document in the status bar.
Does the word count in Word include comments?
Yes. Comments are included in the word count of a document of Microsoft Word. However, endnotes, footnotes and appendices are not counted.