Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007 and 2010. 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 Words the Old Fashioned Way.

Counting Words the Old Fashioned Way

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated November 21, 2016)

You probably already knew that Word provides a way to determine the number of words in a selection or in your entire document. Word has its own internal algorithms to figure out the proper count. This is great, if you need to know actual word counts.

Before the days of actual word counts, however, typists figured out the number of average words in a document. This was done by figuring out the number of characters typed, and then dividing that figure by five. For some purposes you may still need to figure word counts using this old-fashioned approach. This can be done with a simple macro, as follows:

Sub WordCount()
    Dim Title As String
    Dim WordCount As Integer
    Dim Message As String

    Title = "WordCount"
    WordCount = Int((Len(Selection) / 5) + 0.5)
    Message = LTrim(Str(WordCount)) + " word"
    If WordCount <> 1 Then Message = Message + "s"
    MsgBox Message, vbOKOnly, Title
End Sub

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (12345) applies to Microsoft Word 2007 and 2010. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Counting Words the Old Fashioned Way.

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. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Creating Tables with Specific Column Widths

Create a table and Word figures out column widths by dividing the horizontal space by the number of columns you want in ...

Discover More

Creating a Document Based on a Template

Double-click a Word template file in Windows, and Word should create a brand new document based on that template. If this ...

Discover More

Moving Through a Table in a Macro

Do you need to step through a table, cell by cell, in a macro? It's easy to do using the Move method, as described in ...

Discover More

Comprehensive VBA Guide Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) is the language used for writing macros in all Office programs. This complete guide shows both professionals and novices how to master VBA in order to customize the entire Office suite for their needs. Check out Mastering VBA for Office 2010 today!

More WordTips (ribbon)

Determining the Current Page Number

While your macro is processing the text in your document, you may need a way to determine the current page number where ...

Discover More

Adding Parentheses

Need to add parentheses around some word or phrase? Here's a quick macro that makes this simple edit in one step.

Discover More

Turning Off Screen Updating

When working with macros, you can often speed up processing by turning off the updating of the screen. Best news is that ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is 6 - 3?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


This Site

Got a version of Word that uses the ribbon interface (Word 2007 or later)? This site is for you! If you use an earlier version of Word, visit our WordTips site focusing on the menu interface.

Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.