Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, and 2013. 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: Quick and Dirty Paragraph Count.

Quick and Dirty Paragraph Count

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated July 5, 2016)

4

If you want to quickly count the number of paragraphs in a document, here is a great way to do it:

  1. Make sure you save your document.
  2. Press Ctrl+Home to go to the beginning of your document.
  3. Press Ctrl+H. Word displays the Replace tab of the Find and Replace dialog box. (See Figure 1.)
  4. Figure 1. The Replace tab of the Find and Replace dialog box.

  5. In the Find What box, enter ^p.
  6. In the Replace With box, enter ^p.
  7. Click on Replace All.

Word replaces all the paragraph marks in the document with identical paragraph marks, and displays a dialog box indicating how many replacements were made. The number of replacements is the number of paragraphs.

You may not be that impressed with this method, since you can also find out the number of paragraphs in a document by displaying the Statistics tab of the Properties dialog box. However, the real power comes in when you want to find out how many paragraphs you have of a certain style. All you need to do is expand your search a bit.

For instance, let's say you have a certain paragraph style that you use only for figures. To find out how many figures are in your document, follow these steps:

  1. Make sure you save your document.
  2. Press Ctrl+Home to go to the beginning of your document.
  3. Press Ctrl+H. Word displays the Replace tab of the Find and Replace dialog box.
  4. Click on the More button, if it is available.
  5. In the Find What box, enter ^p.
  6. Click on Format and choose Style. Word displays the Find Style dialog box. (See Figure 2.)
  7. Figure 2. The Find Style dialog box.

  8. Choose the name of the style you used for your figures.
  9. In the Replace With box, enter ^p.
  10. Click on Replace All.

That's it! The resulting dialog box indicates the number of replacements made, which are only for those paragraphs that use the figure style—in other words, you now know the number of figures in your document.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (11790) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, and 2013. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Quick and Dirty Paragraph Count.

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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Comments

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What is eight minus 1?

2016-07-05 13:40:55

Bill

Make sure you don't have "track changes" turned on when you run this "search and replace."


2013-09-21 20:54:34

Kate

Word Count does not count blank paragraphs either. So if you open a new document and press <Enter> 20 times, then check Word Count, it will have Paragraphs = 0. But if you then do a Find/Replace for ^p, it will replace 20 paragraphs.


2013-09-21 11:15:22

awyatt

I think you are right, Sharon. Also, word count doesn't count the final paragraph mark in the document, and I think F&R does.

-Allen


2013-09-21 06:51:34

Sharon Dahl

I pulled up a document and performed the find ^p replace ^p and it showed 173 replacements. But when I used the Word Count in the Proofing section of the Review tab, it said 170 paragraphs. I'm assuming the Word Count was NOT including the header/footer paragraphs and the find/replace was!(?)


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