How to Count Words in Word: A Comprehensive Guide to Tracking Your Text

Counting Words in Microsoft Word

Counting words in Microsoft Word is a simple but essential task for anyone writing essays, reports, or any kind of document. You can find the word count either by using the built-in word count feature or by accessing specific options in the software. This article will guide you through the process step-by-step and provide useful tips to make sure you never miss a beat.

Step-by-Step Tutorial on How to Count Words in Word

Let’s break down how to count words in Word. These steps will show you how to quickly find the total word count of your document and even specific sections if needed.

Step 1: Open Microsoft Word

First, you need to open Microsoft Word.

You can do this by clicking on the Word icon on your desktop or searching for it in your computer’s start menu. If you don’t have Word installed, you’ll need to download it first.

Step 2: Open Your Document

Next, open the document where you want to count the words.

You can either create a new document or open an existing one by selecting ‘File’ and then ‘Open.’ Navigate to the location where your document is saved and double-click it to open.

Step 3: Find the Word Count in the Status Bar

Look at the bottom left corner of the Word window; you’ll see the word count displayed in the status bar.

The status bar is the gray bar at the very bottom of the Word window. It automatically updates the word count as you type, so you can always see the current total word count.

Step 4: Use the Word Count Tool for More Details

Click on the word count in the status bar to open the Word Count dialog box for more details.

This box provides detailed information such as the number of pages, characters (with and without spaces), paragraphs, and lines. It’s a handy tool if you need more than just the basic word count.

Step 5: Count Words in Specific Sections

Highlight the specific section of text for which you want to count words, then look at the word count in the status bar again.

When you highlight text, the word count in the status bar will change to show the number of words in the selected text. This is useful if you’re working on sections that need to meet specific word limits.

After completing these steps, you’ll know the exact word count for your entire document or any specified section.

Tips on How to Count Words in Word

  • Always keep an eye on the status bar for a quick word count update.
  • Use the Word Count dialog box to get detailed statistics about your document.
  • Highlight specific sections to get word counts for those parts only.
  • Customize your status bar to show additional info like character count.
  • Use keyboard shortcuts (Ctrl + Shift + G) to quickly open the Word Count dialog box.

Frequently Asked Questions

What if the word count is not showing in the status bar?

If the word count is not showing in the status bar, right-click on the status bar and select the ‘Word Count’ option to display it.

Can I count words in headers and footers?

Yes, you can count words in headers and footers by including them when you open the Word Count dialog box and check the option to include textboxes, footnotes, and endnotes.

Does the word count include spaces?

No, the basic word count does not include spaces. However, the Word Count dialog box provides an option to see the character count with and without spaces.

How accurate is Word’s word count?

Microsoft Word’s word count is very accurate for most purposes, though it may differ slightly from other word processing tools due to different counting algorithms.

Can I count words in multiple documents at once?

No, Word does not have a built-in feature to count words across multiple documents simultaneously. You’ll need to open each document individually to check the word count.

Summary of Steps

  1. Open Microsoft Word.
  2. Open your document.
  3. Find the word count in the status bar.
  4. Use the Word Count tool for more details.
  5. Count words in specific sections by highlighting text.


Counting words in Word is a breeze once you know where to look. The status bar gives you a real-time update, while the Word Count dialog box offers in-depth stats. Whether you’re drafting an essay, crafting a report, or writing a novel, knowing how to keep track of your word count can save you a lot of time and hassle.

If you found this guide helpful, consider exploring more of Word’s features to further optimize your writing process. By mastering the basics, you’re setting yourself up for success in any writing endeavor. Happy writing!