Skip to main content

Count Characters in Microsoft Word and Google Docs

Author: Amanda Li Last Modified: 2024-06-05

Video: Count words or characters in Microsoft Word and Google Docs


Understanding word count or character count

When working with documents, you might need to count words, characters with spaces, or characters without spaces:

  • Word Count: The total number of words, useful for meeting length requirements in assignments, articles, and reports.
  • Character Count with Spaces: Includes all characters and spaces, important for social media posts and other content with strict character limits.
  • Character Count without Spaces: Excludes spaces, counting only letters, numbers, and punctuation, ideal for precise text content measurement.


How to count words or characters in Microsoft Word

Microsoft Word has a built-in word count feature that makes it easy to keep track of the number of words and characters in your document. You can use the Word Count dialog to get a comprehensive count or display the count while typing for real-time updates.


Count with the built-in Word Count feature
  1. On the Review tab, in the Proofing group, select Word Count. Or use the shortcut key Ctrl + Shift + G.

  2. The Word Count dialog box appears showing the number of words, characters (with and without spaces) and other details such as paragraphs and lines.


Count using the Status Bar to display count while typing

To find the real-time word count, which is displayed by default, look at the status bar located at the bottom of the Word window.

Tip: Clicking on the count will open the Word Count dialog box to display the number of words and characters (with and without spaces).

To add a real-time character count to the status bar, right-click on the status bar and select Character Count (with spaces).

Notes:

  • Currently (2024), Microsoft Word does not support adding Character Count (without spaces) to the status bar.
  • To remove items from the status bar, right-click on the status bar and select the item to clear the checkmark.

How to count words or characters in Google Docs

Google Docs offers a built-in tool to help you keep track of the number of words and characters in your document. Whether you need a comprehensive overview or want to enable a real-time display to see the count as you type, this section has you covered.


Count with the built-in Word count feature

Google Docs also offers a straightforward way to count characters:

  1. Select Tools > Word count. Or use the shortcut key Ctrl + Shift + C.

  2. The Word Count dialog box appears showing the number of words, characters (with and without spaces), and pages.


Display word count while typing

To keep track of your character count continuously: Click Tools > Word count to open the Word Count dialog, and select the Display word count while typing box.

The word count will be displayed at the bottom left of the document window, updating in real-time as you type.

Tips:
  • Click on the count dropdown and select your desired count, such as Characters (excluding spaces), to display it at the bottom left of the document window.
  • If you no longer need the count displayed, you can click Hide word count to remove it from view.


Tips and tricks for refining your word or character count

This section provides tips and tricks to refine your character count, including counting characters in specific sections and handling text in textboxes, footnotes, and endnotes. These strategies will help ensure that you have a precise character count for your needs.


Counting characters in specific sections

If you need to count characters in specific sections of your document, please select the text you want to count first, and then:

  • For Microsoft Word users: Go to Review > Word Count. The dialog box will show the count for the selected text.
  • For Google Docs users: Go to Tools > Word count to see the count for the selected text.

Handling text in textboxes, footnotes, and endnotes

If your document includes textboxes, footnotes, and endnotes, and you want to calculate their content along with the body text, follow these steps:

  • For Microsoft Word users: Go to Review > Word Count. And check the option for including textboxes, footnotes, and endnotes.
  • For Google Docs users: Google Docs does not natively support textboxes or endnotes like Microsoft Word does. To include footnote content or text in drawings in your word count, you might need to manually add the text to the main document body temporarily and then use the Word count feature by clicking Tools > Word count.

Above is all the relevant content related to calculating words and characters in Microsoft Word and Google Docs. I hope you find the tutorial helpful. If you're looking to explore more Word tips and tricks, please click here to access our extensive collection of tutorials.

Comments (0)
No ratings yet. Be the first to rate!
There are no comments posted here yet
Leave your comments
Posting as Guest
Rate this post:
0   Characters
Suggested Locations