How to Check Word Count on Google Docs: A Step-by-Step Guide


Matthew Burleigh

Checking your word count on Google Docs is a breeze when you know where to look. If you’re writing an essay, article, or report, you may need to keep track of how many words you’ve typed up. So, let’s dive in and find out how you can easily check your word count on Google Docs!

Step by Step Tutorial: Checking Word Count on Google Docs

Before you start checking your word count, understand that Google Docs makes this process simple and quick. You can find your word count information in a couple of clicks, and it updates automatically as you type. Let’s take a look at the steps.

Step 1: Open your document

Open the Google Docs document you want to check the word count for.

This is the first step because you need to have your document open to access the word count. Make sure you’re logged into your Google account and navigate to the document in question.

Step 2: Click on ‘Tools’

Once your document is open, look at the menu bar at the top and click on ‘Tools’.

The ‘Tools’ option is where Google Docs groups all its additional features that enhance your writing experience. Word count is one of these features.

Step 3: Select ‘Word count’

From the dropdown menu that appears after clicking on ‘Tools’, select ‘Word count’.

The ‘Word count’ option is usually the fifth item down on the ‘Tools’ dropdown menu. Selecting this option will open a small window with your word count details.

Step 4: Review your word count

A pop-up window will appear showing the number of pages, words, characters, and characters excluding spaces in your document.

This pop-up window gives you a detailed statistical breakdown of your text. Pay attention to the word count, which is the second number listed in this window.

After completing these steps, you’ll have a clear understanding of how many words you have in your document. This information can be useful for meeting word count requirements for essays, reports, or articles. Additionally, you can keep the word count window open as you continue to write or edit, and it will update in real time.

Tips: Maximizing Efficiency While Checking Word Count on Google Docs

  • Familiarize yourself with the keyboard shortcut ‘Ctrl+Shift+C’ (or ‘Cmd+Shift+C’ for Mac users), which brings up the word count window without navigating through the menu.
  • Keep the word count window open while you write if you need to monitor the word count constantly.
  • Google Docs automatically saves your work, so you don’t need to worry about losing your progress when opening the word count window.
  • You can use word count to not only monitor the length of your document but also to check how much you’ve written in a particular writing session by comparing the count at the start and end.
  • If you only want to check the word count of a specific section, highlight that section before opening the word count window.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does Google Docs word count include footnotes and endnotes?

The word count in Google Docs does not include content in footnotes or endnotes by default. If you need to include these in your count, you’ll have to add them manually.

Can I see the word count as I type without clicking anything?

Yes, you can. Click on ‘Tools’, then ‘Word count’, and check the ‘Display word count while typing’ box in the bottom left corner of the pop-up window.

How accurate is Google Docs word count?

Google Docs word count is generally very accurate for counting words and characters. However, different programs may count words slightly differently due to how they handle certain elements like hyphens and numbers.

Does the word count feature work on the Google Docs mobile app?

The word count feature is not available on the Google Docs mobile app. You will need to use the desktop version to access this feature.

Can I get a word count for a selected portion of text?

Yes, you can. Simply highlight the portion of text you want to check, and then follow the same steps to view the word count for that specific selection.


  1. Open your Google Docs document.
  2. Click on ‘Tools’ in the menu bar.
  3. Select ‘Word count’ from the dropdown menu.
  4. Review the word count in the pop-up window.


Mastering the simple task of checking your word count on Google Docs can make a big difference in managing your writing projects. Whether you’re a student keeping track of an essay requirement, a professional preparing a report, or a writer maintaining consistency in your work, knowing how to quickly find your word count is an essential skill. Remember, Google Docs is there to make your life easier with its user-friendly interface and handy features. So go ahead, type away, and keep those word counts in check with ease! If you have further questions, don’t hesitate to explore help forums or Google Docs’ own support resources for more detailed guides and tips. Happy writing!

Matthew Burleigh

Matthew Burleigh has been writing tech content online for more than ten years. He enjoys writing about Google Docs in addition to many other applications and devices and has cumulatively covered Google’s word-processing application in hundreds of different articles.

He has been published on dozens of popular websites, and his works have accumulated millions of pageviews.
While focused primarily on tutorials and guides for popular electronics like the iPhone and iPad, as well as common applications like Microsoft Word, Powerpoint, and Excel, he covers topics across the entire technology spectrum.

You can read his bio here.

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