Looking at the search engine searches people have done before coming to this website, I’ve realised I need to publish some notes on how to count the words in your Word document. This information covers Word 2003, Word 2007 and Word 2010, although most of the screenshots are from Word 2007.
How do I count the number of words in my Word 2007 document?
Word 2007 and 2010 handily display your word count at the bottom of the screen. Well, it should be there. Let’s see …
But what if it’s not there? If you want to display your word count at the bottom of your document, right click with your mouse on the lower menu bar – that’s the blue bit at the bottom of the window, indicated with an arrow on this screen shot:
Do take a moment to marvel at all the different things you can do on this menu bar – we will come back to them another time! Now, when you’ve clicked on Word Count, you should see your word count at the bottom of the window:
OK, so that’s one way, but what if you want more information, such as the number of characters (maybe you’re writing some text that has to keep to a certain character limit)? Never fear, there are often two ways to do things in Word, and this is no exception.
We’re going to stop looking at the bottom of the screen and move up to those tabs at the top. Click on the Review tab and you will see the Word Count option to the left:
Click on Word Count and you will get a little dialogue box telling you all sorts of information …
Now, what if you want to count just the words in a particular section of your document (you might be trying to keep to a word limit per chapter or be writing lots of short articles you want to check)? Simply highlight the section of text you want to count, then either look at the bottom of the screen, where it will tell you that you have highlighted x out of a total of y words, or click on Word Count on the Review tab and your dialogue box will tell you just about the words you’ve highlighted:
How do I count the number of words in a Word 2010 document?
Word 2010 works in exactly the same as Word 2007 as far as the lower menu bar goes, so just follow the instructions above to show the word count at the bottom of your document.
When it comes to the Review tab and Word Count option, it’s all pretty much in the same place, but looks a little bit different:
How do I check the number of words in a Word 2003 document?
In Word 2003, you can access Word Count from the Tools drop down menu.
Please note, these hints work with versions of Microsoft Word currently in use – Word 2003, Word 2007 and Word 2010, all for PC. Mac compatible versions of Word should have similar options. Always save a copy of your document before manipulating it. I bear no responsibility for any pickles you might get yourself into! This is part of my series on how to avoid time-consuming “short cuts” and use Word in the right way to maximise your time and improve the look of your documents. Find all the short cuts here …