How to Show the Word Count in Google Docs: A Step-by-Step Guide


Matthew Burleigh

Keeping track of your word count is crucial, especially when you’re working on an essay or a report with a specific word limit. Google Docs, a popular word processing tool, makes it easy to view your document’s word count. In just a few clicks, you can access this useful feature and keep your writing on track.

Step by Step Tutorial on How to Show Word Count in Google Docs

Before we dive into the steps, let’s understand what we’re aiming for. By following this tutorial, you’ll be able to quickly view the total number of words in your Google Docs document, as well as additional information like page count and character count.

Step 1: Open your document in Google Docs

Open the document for which you want to view the word count.

When you open your document, make sure you’re logged into your Google account. If you’re working on a shared document, you should have editing permissions to access the word count.

Step 2: Click on ‘Tools’ in the menu bar

In the Google Docs menu bar, click on the ‘Tools’ option.

The ‘Tools’ menu is where you’ll find various features to enhance your document, including spell check, voice typing, and the word count feature we’re looking for.

Step 3: Select ‘Word count’ from the dropdown menu

From the dropdown menu that appears, click on ‘Word count.’

The ‘Word count’ option is usually near the bottom of the ‘Tools’ dropdown menu. It’s a straightforward tool that doesn’t require any special settings or adjustments.

Step 4: View your word count

A pop-up window will appear, showing you the total word count for your document.

The word count window will also display the number of pages, characters, and characters excluding spaces in your document. This can be helpful if you have specific requirements for any of these metrics.

After you complete these steps, you’ll have a clear understanding of how long your document is. It’s a simple process that can be repeated as often as necessary while you’re working on your document.

Tips for Managing Word Count in Google Docs

  • You can use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl+Shift+C (Cmd+Shift+C on Mac) to quickly open the word count window.
  • Keep an eye on your word count as you write to avoid going over any limits.
  • Use the word count tool to track your progress if you have a daily or weekly writing goal.
  • Remember that the word count includes everything in the document, so be mindful of long titles or headers.
  • You can select specific text to see the word count for just that selection; this can be useful for checking the length of individual sections.

Frequently Asked Questions

What does the character count include?

The character count includes every single character typed in the document, including spaces and punctuation marks.

Can I keep the word count visible at all times?

Yes, after opening the word count window, you can check the box that says “Display word count while typing” to keep it visible.

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

The word count feature is available on the Google Docs mobile app, though the steps to access it may differ slightly.

Are words in footnotes and endnotes included in the count?

Yes, any text that is part of the document, including footnotes and endnotes, is included in the word count.

Can I exclude headings or titles from the word count?

There’s no built-in feature to exclude specific parts of the text from the word count, but you can select the body text to get a count without the headings.


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


Whether you’re a student, professional, or casual writer, knowing how to show the word count in Google Docs is an essential skill. It helps you stay within limits, manage your writing, and track your progress. The steps outlined in this article are straightforward and can be completed in seconds, making it convenient to keep tabs on your document’s length. Just remember that writing isn’t only about meeting word counts; it’s about expressing your ideas effectively and clearly. So, while keeping an eye on the numbers, focus on the quality of your writing. If you ever find yourself stuck or in need of a quick word count check, refer back to this guide to help you out. 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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