How to Check a Word Count in Microsoft Word: A Simple Guide

Checking the word count in Microsoft Word is a breeze. Simply open the document you want to check, go to the ‘Review’ tab at the top of the Word window, and click on ‘Word Count.’ A small box will pop up displaying the number of pages, words, characters (no spaces), characters (with spaces), paragraphs, and lines in your document.

After you complete the action, you will have a clear understanding of the length and size of your document, which can be particularly useful for meeting specific requirements for essays, reports, or articles.


Word count is a critical element for writers, students, professionals, and anyone who is required to meet a specific length for their written content. Whether you’re a student trying to adhere to a professor’s guidelines, a writer abiding by editorial standards, or a professional drafting a report with a word-limit, knowing how to check the word count of your Microsoft Word document is essential.

Microsoft Word, a component of the Microsoft Office suite, is one of the most widely used word-processing software in the world. Its features go beyond mere typing and formatting text. The software comes with an array of tools designed to help you manage and analyze your documents effectively. Among these tools is the word count feature, which is easy to use and accessible within a few clicks. This article is relevant to anyone who uses Microsoft Word and needs to keep track of their document’s length for any purpose.

Step by Step Tutorial on How to Check Word Count in Microsoft Word

This tutorial will guide you through the simple process of checking the word count in your Microsoft Word document.

Step 1: Open your document in Microsoft Word.

Open the document for which you need to check the word count.

Once your document is open, you can proceed to find out the total number of words it contains. Make sure you are viewing the document in ‘Print Layout’ view, as the word count feature may not be available in other views, such as ‘Read Mode’ or ‘Web Layout.’

Step 2: Click on the ‘Review’ tab.

Find and click on the ‘Review’ tab at the top of the Word window.

The ‘Review’ tab is where you’ll find various tools to proofread and analyze your document, including the ‘Word Count’ feature. It’s generally located between the ‘Layout’ and ‘View’ tabs on the ribbon at the top of the Word window.

Step 3: Click on ‘Word Count’ in the ‘Proofing’ group.

In the ‘Review’ tab, look for the ‘Proofing’ group, then click on ‘Word Count.’

The ‘Word Count’ button is usually represented by a small box with the numbers ‘123’ on it. After clicking this, a dialogue box will appear, displaying various counts related to your document.

Step 4: Review the word count.

The Word Count box will display the number of pages, words, characters (no spaces), characters (with spaces), paragraphs, and lines.

This information allows you to see not only how many words your document contains but also other details that might be important for formatting or publishing purposes.


Easy and QuickChecking the word count in Microsoft Word is a straightforward process that takes only a few clicks. This is convenient when you’re in a hurry or need to quickly assess the length of your document.
AccurateMicrosoft Word provides an accurate count of the words, characters, paragraphs, and lines in your document, which is essential for adhering to specific length requirements.
Additional Document DetailsBeyond the word count, you get to see the number of characters, paragraphs, and lines, giving you a more detailed view of your document’s structure.


Not Always VisibleThe Word Count feature may not be visible in all views, which can be inconvenient when using a view other than ‘Print Layout.’
May Include Text in Headers/FootersThe word count may include text from headers, footers, and footnotes, which could skew the total count if you only need the main body text.
DistractionFocusing too much on word count can sometimes be a distraction from the quality of writing, especially if you’re trying to meet a specific number.

Additional Information

When checking the word count in Microsoft Word, remember that the count is dynamic and will update as you type or delete text. Moreover, if you select a portion of the text before clicking ‘Word Count,’ the word count will show the statistics for that specific selection only, which can be very useful when you want to check the length of a particular section or paragraph.

Sometimes, you may need to keep the word count visible at all times while writing. To do this, you can enable the ‘Show Word Count’ feature that displays a continuous count at the bottom of the document window. This can be particularly helpful for keeping track of your writing progress or ensuring you don’t exceed a certain limit.

Remember, the word count feature in Microsoft Word is there to assist you in managing your document effectively. It’s an invaluable tool for anyone in the writing profession or any field that involves creating content within specific constraints.


  1. Open your document in Microsoft Word.
  2. Click on the ‘Review’ tab.
  3. Click on ‘Word Count’ in the ‘Proofing’ group.
  4. Review the word count.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does the word count in Microsoft Word include text in headers and footers?

Yes, by default, Microsoft Word includes text in headers, footers, and footnotes in the total word count. However, you can deselect these options in the ‘Word Count’ dialog box if needed.

Can I see the word count without clicking anything?

Yes, the word count can be continuously displayed at the bottom of the document window by enabling the ‘Show Word Count’ feature.

Is the word count feature available in all versions of Microsoft Word?

The word count feature is available in most versions of Microsoft Word, but the steps to access it may vary slightly depending on the version.

Can I check the word count of a selected portion of text?

Yes, if you select a portion of text and then follow the steps to check the word count, the count will only apply to the selected text.

What does ‘characters (with spaces)’ mean in the word count dialog box?

‘Characters (with spaces)’ refers to the total number of characters in your document, including spaces between words, which can be important for meeting certain formatting requirements.


Knowing how to check a word count in Microsoft Word is a fundamental skill for writers and professionals alike. This feature is not only a necessity for adhering to specific guidelines but also a helpful tool for managing and organizing content effectively. While it’s crucial to focus on the quality of your writing, word count plays a significant role in the writing process and should not be overlooked.

Remember, Microsoft Word’s word count feature is your ally in ensuring your document meets the necessary standards, whether it’s for an academic assignment, a publication, or a professional report. Keep writing, and let Word count the words for you!