Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Office 365. 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.
by Allen Wyatt
(last updated November 3, 2018)
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, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Office 365. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Counting Words the Old Fashioned Way.
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