How To Count Characters On Word

Whether you are writing an academic paper or writing for work, you may be asked to keep an eye on your character count, here’s how to do this in Word.

Reviewed By: Kevin Pocock

Last Updated on July 15, 2024
How To Count Characters On Word
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If you are submitting an academic paper or article, simply doing homework, or need to meet a character requirement, knowing how to find a more detailed breakdown of your word count can be really important to meet the requirements asked of you.

While many people provide word counts depending on words, for smaller pieces of work, or more creative endeavors like poetry, a character limit may be imposed instead.

When using Word it often only shows your word count at the bottom of the page, there is a way to unlock a better breakdown of your words characters and more.

Read our simple guide to learn more about Word and character count in Word.

What Does Your Word Count Track?

When accessing your word count analytics, you can access many different metrics based on what you have been writing. This can include the number of pages, amount of lines, words, as well as characters which refers to how many letters have been used within one section of writing.

Next we will cover how to do it and what different uses there are.


How To Get A Character Count In Word?

Apple users will be glad to hear that this method doesn’t change much at all if you are using a Mac. Moreover, it doesn’t change too much even with different versions of words.

So, your basic word document will display your word count in the bottom right of your page, and slowly increase as you write words.

In order to see your expanded word count you need to open a specific view of your word count. There are two ways you can achieve this.

How To Get A Character Count In Word



Click On Your Word Count

Simply, you can click on your word count in the bottom right corner and it will open the window you need.



Review Tab

Otherwise, you can access this window by going into the ‘Review’ tab and clicking the ‘Word Count’ option.



Expanded View Of Word Count

Both options will bring up the expanded view of your word count, this should list your pages, words, characters (with no spaces, characters (including spaces) as well as paragraphs, and lines.

As you can see, understanding if your character limit includes spaces or not is an important consideration to undertake.



Highlight A Particular Section Of Words

Another way to use this tool is to highlight a particular section of words, to find out the words and characters used in one specific section.

Simply repeat the methods listed but with specific text highlighted and it will show you the statistics for this specific section of text.

If you cannot see this word count in the bottom left of your screen, which makes it much easier to simply click this and see your characters and like in one click, there is a way to add this to your toolbar at the bottom of the screen.



Add To Quick Access Toolbar

Simply, go to the ‘Review’ tab where we instructed you to find the word count option, but instead of clicking it normally right click it.

A drop box should appear, if you select ‘Add to Quick Access Toolbar’ then this should appear in the bottom left of your screen as it usually does in Word and you can get these stats in one simple click, whenever you want.

Final Thoughts

As you can see, finding your word count as well as characters and these other similar metrics, you can easily find them with one click in these easy steps.

We suggest making sure you know if your character limit includes spaces or not, this should be made clear by whoever is asking as there can be a large numerical difference depending on the option.

Kevin is the Editor of PC Guide. He has a broad interest and enthusiasm for consumer electronics, PCs and all things consumer tech - and more than 15 years experience in tech journalism.