Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Word in Microsoft 365, and 2021. If you are using an earlier version (Word 2003 or earlier), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for earlier versions of Word, click here: Counting the Instances of a Text String.

Counting the Instances of a Text String

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated November 11, 2023)
This tip applies to Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Word in Microsoft 365, and 2021


When you are working in a large document, you may want to know how many times a particular text string occurs within a portion of the document. One way you can find this information is to create a macro that will examine a selected range of text to see how many instances it contains. Consider the following macro:

Sub CountString()
    Dim sTemp As String
    Dim sFind As String
    Dim t As String

    sTemp = Selection.Text
    sFind = InputBox("Text to find")
    t = Replace(sTemp, sFind, "")
    MsgBox (Len(sTemp) - Len(t)) / Len(sFind) & " occurrences of " & sFind
End Sub

Select the text you want analyzed and then run the macro. It assigns the selected text to the sTemp variable (so nothing in the actual document is affected) and then asks you to enter the text string you want to find. The Replace function is then used to replace all the instances of that string within the sTemp variable. The text, after the replacement, is assigned to the variable t. The length of the "before" text (sTemp) and the "after" text (t) is compared and the number of replacements calculated.

Note:

If you would like to know how to use the macros described on this page (or on any other page on the WordTips sites), I've prepared a special page that includes helpful information. Click here to open that special page in a new browser tab.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (5651) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Word in Microsoft 365, and 2021. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Counting the Instances of a Text String.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

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