How to Check Word Count on Google Docs


Matthew Burleigh

Checking word count on Google Docs is a breeze. Simply open your document, head to the ‘Tools’ menu, and click on ‘Word Count’. A box will display your word count, character count, and other useful metrics. For a real-time word count as you type, select the ‘Display word count while typing’ option.

Ever been in the middle of drafting an essay, report, or novel, and wondered how close you were to your target word count? Or maybe you’re a student and have a word limit for your assignment. Google Docs, the cloud-based word processor, has got your back! Today, we’re diving deep into the process of checking word counts on Google Docs, making it easy and hassle-free.

Related: How to Disable Auto Capitalize in Google Docs

The Simple Steps to Word Count Bliss

Remember the days when you had to manually count each word? Thank goodness those days are behind us! Here’s how to do it on Google Docs:

1. Open Your Document

Got Google Docs open? Great start! Now, click on your document. It’s as simple as that.

2. Navigate to the Tools Menu

Look towards the top and find the “Tools” option. It’s like the Swiss Army knife of Google Docs – packed with features!

3. Click on ‘Word Count’

Once you click on ‘Tools’, a dropdown will appear. Among the options, you’ll see ‘Word Count’. Give it a click!

4. Behold the Details

A box will pop up, showing not only the word count but also character count, page count, and more. Want to keep the counter visible as you type? Just tick the ‘Display word count while typing’ option.

5. Close and Get Back to Writing

Once you’re satisfied, close the box and jump back into your writing!

Pros of Google Doc’s Word Count Feature

  • Ease of Use: It’s intuitive and straightforward. No need for tutorials or user manuals.
  • Detailed Metrics: Beyond word count, you get characters, pages, and more.
  • On-the-Fly Updates: With the ‘display while typing’ feature, your word count updates as you write.

Cons of Google Doc’s Word Count Feature

  • Distraction Possibility: Having the counter visible might distract some writers.
  • Might Miss on Mobile: The word count feature can be a tad tricky to locate on mobile devices.
  • Over-reliance: There’s always the danger of writing to meet a word count rather than conveying information effectively.

Additional Information

Why Word Count Matters

Word count isn’t just about meeting assignment requirements. It’s also about readability, pacing, and content structure. In many professional scenarios, from journalism to marketing, specific word counts are crucial for ensuring content fits its designated space or format.

Tools vs. Extensions

While Google Docs has a built-in word count tool, there are third-party extensions available that offer advanced features. However, for most users, the built-in tool will be more than sufficient.

Wrapping It Up

The ability to check word count on Google Docs is a testament to how far word processing has come. It’s simple, quick, and ensures writers have one less thing to worry about. So the next time you’re deep in your writing groove, remember that checking your word count is just a few clicks away. Happy writing!


  1. Can I see the word count of a specific section? Yes! Just highlight the section you want to count, then follow the steps to check the word count.
  2. Is there a shortcut for word count? Absolutely. On most computers, pressing Ctrl + Shift + C will bring up the word count box.
  3. Can I get a word count on Google Sheets or Slides? Not directly. While these tools have character count features, for word counts, you might need to copy your text into Google Docs.
  4. Does the word count feature include text in footnotes or endnotes? Yes, Google Docs includes words in footnotes, endnotes, and headers in the total count.
  5. How do I hide the word count box? Just uncheck the ‘Display word count while typing’ option or close the box.
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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