How to count characters and words in Word and online

Are you writing a thesis or an important document for which you need character and word count? Find out now how to do it in Word and online.

Those who find themselves having to write important documents for university or editing journalistic work are probably very used to dealing with word and character limits. In many areas, texts are often required to be no longer than a certain length, which is why it is important to check that you have complied with the required guidelines once you have written the text. Computer aids make available to users various tools to solve the problems related to the character count, thus solving a problem that for decades had plagued writers, academics and journalists.

With the typewriter this operation was in fact performed by hand, leading to a not inconsiderable expenditure of time and energy. Today, fortunately, there are several tools that can help you count the characters and words in a document, both in Word and online: in this way, it is very easy to understand in a few minutes if you need to make additions or cuts before delivering the work. Not familiar with this type of tool? Take note: this guide explains all the tricks for counting the exact number of characters and words in a text.

Counting characters and words in Word

If you have just written a text in Word and you need to check the number of characters or words in it, there are a few simple things you can do.

On Windows

If you are working on a Word document on Windows, just check the status bar. As you type, Word automatically counts the number of words in a document, pages, paragraphs, lines and characters. If you need a partial word count, just select the part of the text you want and the status bar will show the word count for that selection and for the entire document.

On MacOS

The operations are slightly different if you are working on a text on MacOS. In this case, the number of characters, paragraphs, lines and other information can be consulted by clicking on the "Word Count" item in the status bar. Unless you have selected a part of the text, Word will count the words in the entire document, as well as the characters: you can view them as Statistics in the Word Count window. To count the number of words in a part of the document, simply select the text to be included in the count. Again, select the "Word Count" item from the Tools menu and you'll have all the information you need.

Online Word and Character Count

If you are editing your text online, for time or convenience, you have other tools for checking the number of words and characters. Here are the most popular ones.

Word online

Just like the desktop program, Word for web also counts words as you type. If the word count is not shown at the bottom of the window, make sure you are in edit mode by clicking Edit Document > Edit in Word for Web. Then click on the word count to turn it off and on. You should note that Word for Web offers an approximate word count. If you need an exact count, click on "Open in Word" and observe the word count at the bottom of the Word document window.

Google doc

One of the most widely used editors for online writing, Google Doc, integrates a tool that allows you to count the number of characters in a text. Once you have created a new document, just click on the menu item "Tools" and then on "Word Count".

A very intuitive tool for counting words online is offered by the portal  To count the characters you need to copy or write the text to be analyzed in the text field that you find under the item "Write or copy the text on this online character counter". After you have done this, click on the "Count Characters" button: in a few seconds you will be returned the number of characters and words in the text you have written.

The portal is also very intuitive. Once on the site, you can draft or paste the text of your document into the editor at the center of the Home Page. You can then use the "Count Characters and Words" tool of the site to count words and characters: everything is done automatically and you don't have to press any button to count. The portal offers a very detailed service: under "Characters" you can read the number of characters including spaces; under "Characters (no spaces)", you can find the number of characters in the text with spaces excluded; under "Words" you can find the word count for your text.