Do you have a character limit for a certain document? In that case, MS Word count characters tool can come in handy. In fact, you can also know how many words or sentences a certain Word document has in just a split second. The best part is that using this MS tool is super easy. Here’s how you can use it.
Table of Contents
- How to Use the MS Word Count Characters Tool
- How to Count Words in MS Word
- How to Count the Number of Lines in MS Word
- What is the Fastest Way to Count Characters in an MS Word Document?
- Frequently Asked Questions
How to Use the MS Word Count Characters Tool
To use the MS Word count characters tool, open the concerned document and navigate to the Review tab. Now, click Word Count. This will trigger a pop-up window displaying the total number of characters in the document, including spaces and punctuation marks.
Before we get into how character counter works in MS Word, it’s important to first understand what’s considered a character. So, according to MS Word, the characters are:
- Letters ( both uppercase and lowercase)
- Numbers (0-9)
- Spaces between words and sentences
- Punctuation marks (comma, period, semicolon, exclamation point, etc.)
- Special characters (@, #, $, %, &, etc.)
- Formatting characters (tabs, line breaks, and paragraph marks)
- Non-printing characters (hidden characters, spaces, and tabs)
For example, the sentence “This is an example of characters in MS Word.” has a character count of 37 (including spaces and punctuations), while the word count will be 8. But it doesn’t include formatting elements like bold, italics, underline, font size, color, etc.
The character count feature in Microsoft Word quickly determines the number of characters in a document. This really comes in handy when you have to meet a specific character limit, track the length of your document, and for making social media posts on platforms with a character limit.
Here’s how to find the number of characters in Microsoft Word:
- Open the Microsoft Word document for which you want to count the characters.
- Go to the Review tab located at the top of the screen.
- Click Word Count in the Proofing group.
- A pop-up window will appear, showing the number of characters in the document.
How to Count Words in MS Word
To find the number of words in Microsoft Word, open the concerned document, and navigate to the Review tab. Then in the Proofing section, click Word Count. This will trigger a word count dialog box containing the total number of words in your document.
In Microsoft Word, any string of characters having a coherent meaning and separated by spaces or other punctuation marks is considered a ‘word.’ It includes:
- A string of letters (uppercase or lowercase) and numbers
- Words of multiple languages
- A word can also contain hyphens, apostrophes, and dashes
- Abbreviations, acronyms, and contractions
- Words that contain numbers (e.g., “2nd”)
But just like characters, it doesn’t include formatting elements like bold, italics, underline, font size, and color. It also doesn’t count the non-printing characters, such as hidden characters, spaces, and tabs.
For example, the sentence “This is an example of words in MS Word.” has a word count of 8, while the number of characters will be 37 (including spaces and punctuations).
Many times when we have to upload a document or submit an assignment, there is a specific word count guideline. In that case, this word-counting feature comes in handy– eliminating the need to count the number of words manually. On top of that, it allows you to monitor the changes over time. This, in turn, helps streamline your work and improve its precision.
This is how you count the number of words in a Word document:
- Open the document in Microsoft Word that you want to count the number of words.
- Click the Review tab.
- Navigate to the Proofing section of the ribbon.
- Click Word Count.
- A dialog box will appear, containing the number of words in the document.
- Otherwise, you can see the real-time count of words in the live status bar at the bottom left of the screen.
- But if you need to check the character count for a specific text section, highlight the text and then repeat steps 1st to 3rd. It will count the number of words for that selected text.
- Close the Word Count dialog box when you’re done viewing the information.
How to Count the Number of Lines in MS Word
To count the number of lines in a Word document, open the file and navigate to the Review tab in the ribbon. Then, click the Word Count button in the Proofing section. Then you will see a dialog box displaying the number of sentences, along with other useful information like word count, character count, and more.
It is important to note that a line doesn’t need to be a proper, grammatical sentence in Microsoft Word. Consider this example:
“This is a random string of characters and words to give you an idea of how a line doesn’t need to be a complete sentence in order to be a line in MS Word.”
In a grammatical sense, it is a single sentence. However, MS Word will count it as two lines because it is taking up the space of two lines.
Now, counting sentences in a document can be helpful in structuring and organizing the text, checking for readability, and assessing writing style, fluency, and conciseness. At times, you may also find yourself faced with a line-limit guideline for certain documents or papers.
That being said, let’s take a look at how to count the number of lines in a Word document:
- Open a document in MS Word.
- Click the Review tab.
- Now, click Word Count in the Proofing section.
- A box will appear that shows how many lines are in your document.
Alternatively, you can access the Word Count tool in MS Word by right-clicking on a selected text and clicking the Word Count option. This allows you to check the sentence count of a specific portion of your document rather than the entire document.
What is the Fastest Way to Count Characters in an MS Word Document?
One of the fastest ways to count characters, words, and lines in MS Word is by using keyboard shortcuts. On macOS, press ‘Command + Shift + G,’ and on Windows, press ‘Ctrl + Shift + G’ on your keyboard to open the Word Count dialog box. Here, you can also select the range of text you want to count and get a total count for words, characters, paragraphs, and sentences.
If you use any macOS device, you can easily view the number of characters, words, and lines in a Word document by using the following keyboard shortcut:
Command + Shift + G
This will open a box, containing the character, word, and sentence count. Here you can also get a more detailed insight into your text and see extra options such as the paragraphs and pages.
It is just as simple to view the number of characters, words, and lines on a Windows computer or laptop. To do so, simply press the following keyboard combination:
Ctrl + Shift + G
And you will see a box showing the number of characters, words, lines, and more in your Word document.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is character count vs word count?
Character count and word count are two different ways of measuring the length of written text. While a character includes each letter, number, space, and punctuation mark, in a Word document, a word is a combination of such characters without space between it. So, character count tells you how many characters there are, while word count tells you how many words there are in your Microsoft Word file.
How to view word count in Google Docs?
To view the word count of your Google Doc, do the following:
1. Open the document you wish to view the word count of in Google Docs.
2. Click the Tools menu in the top navigation bar.
3. Select Word Count from the dropdown menu.
A window will appear, showing you a breakdown of characters, words, and other data about your document.
How do I count characters in Notepad?
Sadly, unlike in a Google doc or Word document, there is no in-built character or word counter in Notepad. It is just a basic text editor. But there are some workarounds that you can try. For one, you can use online tools like WordCounter. The best part is it’s absolutely free to use.
Alternatively, you can copy your text from the Notepad and paste it to an MS Word document or a Google doc. And then, you can use its in-built character counter.