How to Include Footnotes in Word Count Google Docs: A Detailed Guide

how to include footnotes in word count google docs

Including footnotes in the word count of your Google Docs document can be a bit tricky, but with a few simple steps, you can get accurate results. This guide will walk you through the process of counting footnotes in your Google Docs word count. By following these steps, you’ll ensure that nothing important is left out when you check your document’s length.

How to Include Footnotes in Word Count Google Docs

In the following steps, you will learn how to include footnotes in the word count for your Google Docs document. This process ensures that both your main text and footnotes are counted together.

Step 1: Highlight Your Entire Document

First, you’ll need to highlight your entire document, including the footnotes.

To do this, place your cursor at the beginning of your document, then click and drag to the end of the document. You can also use the shortcut Ctrl+A (Cmd+A on Mac) to select all the text at once.

Step 2: Copy the Highlighted Text

Next, you need to copy the highlighted text to ensure everything, including footnotes, is included.

Once your entire document is highlighted, right-click and select "Copy" or use the shortcut Ctrl+C (Cmd+C on Mac). This copies all the text, including the footnotes, to your clipboard.

Step 3: Open a New Google Docs Document

Now, open a new Google Docs document where you’ll paste the copied text.

You can create a new document by clicking "File" in the top left corner of Google Docs, selecting "New," and then "Document." This gives you a fresh space to work with.

Step 4: Paste the Text into the New Document

You will then paste the text, including the footnotes, into the new document.

Right-click in the new document and select "Paste," or use the shortcut Ctrl+V (Cmd+V on Mac). This transfers all your copied text, retaining the footnotes.

Step 5: Check the Word Count in the New Document

Finally, check the word count in the new document to see the total, including footnotes.

Click "Tools" in the top menu of Google Docs, then select "Word count." The total word count displayed will include both your main text and footnotes.

After you complete these steps, your new document will show a word count that includes footnotes. This ensures that your entire document is accurately counted.

Tips for Including Footnotes in Word Count Google Docs

  1. Double-Check Your Selection: Make sure you’ve highlighted everything, including the footnotes, before copying.
  2. Use Shortcuts: Keyboard shortcuts can save time and ensure you don’t miss any steps.
  3. Verify Footnote Inclusion: After pasting, scroll through the new document to ensure all footnotes are correctly included.
  4. Save Your Work: Before making these changes, save a copy of your original document to avoid any data loss.
  5. Regular Updates: If you frequently update your document, repeat these steps to keep an accurate word count.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I include footnotes in the word count directly in the original document?

No, Google Docs does not have a built-in feature to include footnotes in the word count of the original document. You’ll need to use the method described above.

Do footnotes impact the overall readability of my document?

Footnotes provide additional context without cluttering the main text. Including them in word count ensures your document meets specific requirements.

Is there an add-on or third-party tool to include footnotes in the word count?

Currently, there is no reliable add-on for Google Docs that includes footnotes in the word count. Copying and pasting into a new document remains the best method.

Will formatting be retained when copying to a new document?

Yes, when you copy and paste, the formatting, including footnotes, is retained in the new document.

Can I automate this process?

There isn’t a direct way to automate this in Google Docs. However, using keyboard shortcuts can speed up the process.


  1. Highlight your entire document.
  2. Copy the highlighted text.
  3. Open a new Google Docs document.
  4. Paste the text into the new document.
  5. Check the word count in the new document.


Including footnotes in the word count of your Google Docs document might seem like a hassle, but it ensures your work is thorough and meets any specific requirements. Follow the steps provided to accurately count every word in your document, including those vital footnotes. Don’t forget the importance of saving your work and verifying that all text has been copied correctly.

Having an accurate word count, including footnotes, is not just about meeting guidelines; it’s about ensuring your document is complete and professional. For those who regularly work with documents requiring word count accuracy, this method is indispensable. Keep exploring and practicing these steps to master document management in Google Docs, and you’ll find that what once seemed complicated is now a breeze.