Automatically Identifying Repeated Words

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated January 18, 2020)
This tip applies to Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Microsoft 365


As a teacher, Wendy critiques her students on how often they repeat words in their writing. When she opens a document from her students, she wonders if Word can tell her the words they have repeated. She understands that she can use Find and Replace if she knows the word she is looking for; however, this means that she would have to identify a repeated word. She is looking for Word to do the work for her. Naturally, Wendy wouldn't want Word to let her know that the student has used common words like A, AN, THE, AND, etc.

When you want a count of the number of times each word in a document is used, what you are looking for is typically referred to (in Word circles) as a "word frequency count" or a "concordance with counts." Searching on the web for these terms can uncover a wide variety of tools you could use for this purpose.

Some WordTips subscribers made suggestions of tools that work well for them. One such tool is WordCounter, from our friends over at the Editorium (www.editorium.com). This Word add-in can be used free for 45 days. After that, you can register it for only $19.95.

A standalone program—one not run as a Word add-in—is TextSTAT. It can read several types of files, including Word documents. It produces a detailed listing with all sorts of statistical summaries. Best of all, TextSTAT is free at:

http://neon.niederlandistik.fu-berlin.de/en/textstat/

If you'd like to "jump under the hood" and create your own macro to get the desired results, consider the discussion at a previous WordTip, located here:

https://wordribbon.tips.net/T010761

You could also benefit by examining how MVP Greg Maxey tackles the issue:

https://gregmaxey.com/word_tip_pages/word_usage_and_frequency_report.html

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (11362) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Microsoft 365.

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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