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Weekly Computer Tip # 200
22 June 2007

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Count the total number of words (Microsoft Word)

First of all a big thank you to Anna, Vicky, Penny, Ruth, Sheila, Fiona, Anthony and Nichola who replied to my request for your favourite tips. When I have a spare moment (wooha!) I'll create a web page so others can benefit from your feedback too. (Come on ... two more and we can do a top 10!)

Oh, and by special request from "Grow Yourself John" ... herewith another Word tip. (See? I keep my promises!)

Have you ever been asked to write a document that shouldn't be more than a certain number of words? Well, you might know you can count the words in the whole document by selecting the Tools, Word Count command. (Or simply select specific text to count the words in the selected text only.)

But did you know you can let Word look it up and automatically include the word count, saving you time to enter it manually?

Here's how:

  1. Type "numwords" (without the quotes)
  2. Select the word
  3. Press CTRL+F9 to convert the word to a field.
  4. Right-click the converted word and select Update Field from the dropdown menu.

As your document changes, you can update the field to reflect those changes by repeating step 4 or by pressing CTRL+A to select the entire document and then pressing F9 to update all fields. All fields? Are there any more? Yes ... you might want to experiment with keywords such as filename, filesize, createdate, savedate, printdate, numwords, numchars, revnum, edittime, author, or lastsavedby. If I do that with this tip in Word I would see the following:

tip200.doc, 51200, 21/06/2007 17:37:00, 21/06/2007 17:37:00, 21/06/2007 17:37:00, 460, 2169, 2, 1, Karen Roem, or Karen Roem.

Fields like these could work really well as headers and footers.

Well, that was the 200th tip. Thanks for your continued interest and come on ... two more nominations to make it a top 10!

Until next week.

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June 2007