Weekly Computer Tip # 275
11 July 2009

Count the number of words as you add or delete content
(Word 2000-2007)

If you need to know how many words your document contains, Microsoft Word can count them for you. Perhaps you know about the Word Count feature? (In Word 2007 you can find the Word Count - ABC123 - button on the Review tab, in the Proofing group; in earlier versions you can select Word Count from the Tools menu.) But did you know Microsoft Office Word 2007 counts the number of words in a document while you type? And even as you add or delete content in earlier versions of Word, you don't have to click Word Count on the Tools menu each time you want to (re)count.

Here's how:

  1. In Word 2007 you can find the total number of words in a document in the status bar in the bottom left corner of the window. Click on the total in the status bar to open the Word Count dialog box.
  2. In earlier versions of Word display the Word Count toolbar (right-click anywhere in the toolbar area and select Word Count) and click Recount every time you want to update the count of your selected text.

If you don't want to count all the words in a document, simply select the relevant section(s). The sections do not have to be next to each other. Simply select the first section, and then hold down CTRL and select additional sections.