Counting Words

At times we are asked to write something and there are word number requirements, meaning, a minimum or maximum number of words must be submitted. If you are using Microsoft Word to complete this task, as you are probably aware, Word will tell you how many words there are in your document and you can find that out from the Word Count Button on the Review tab.

Did you know....

What you might not be aware of is the document’s word count is also available to you on the Word Window Status Bar, which is at the bottom of the open document window. If you don’t see the number of words listed there:

  1. Right Click on the status bar
  2. In the dialog that opens, add a check mark next to the Word Count Option

And now you have a very handy quick reference to use.


But wait, there's more...

What can you do to find out how many words there are in a specific paragraph or group of paragraphs in your document?

If you have the Word Count Option enabled on the Status Bar, then all you have to do is select the specific paragraphs. Presto… the number of words in the selected area is displayed.


Here’s another question I’ve been asked…

“How can I tell how many words there in a document up to a certain point, for example, from the beginning of the document to the first paragraph on page three?”

Click at the beginning of that first paragraph on Page 3, and then press the Keyboard Shortcut of Shift + Control + Home, which selects everything from the beginning of the document to your current insertion point at the start of the paragraph on page three. 

Do you want to know how many words from the beginning of that paragraph to the end of the document? Press Shift + Control + End.

What a minute… you don’t have a Home Key or End Key on your keyboard because you are using a Tablet or a Laptop? Then press Shift + Control + fn + Left Arrow (“fn” is a separate key on your keyboard with that label) and the combination of fn and Left Arrow Key will act like the Home Key. If the Left Arrow is changed to a Right Arrow it will act like the End Key.

Oh, you’re on a Mac? Then substitute the Command Key for the Control Key and everything else in the shortcut stays the same.

“Now that I’ve made this “big” selection, how can I quickly collapse it and keep typing?” Just press the left or right arrow once.


“That’s a whole bunch of keystrokes to remember, isn’t there a simpler way?”

Yes, here’s a Macro that works on both PC and Macs. When you run it, it will take care of making the selection from the beginning of the document to the current selection point. If you need a Macro that selects to the end of the document, or information on how to install the Macro… just let us know.