Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Microsoft 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: Word Count is Zero.

Word Count is Zero

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated January 4, 2020)
This tip applies to Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Microsoft 365


If you use the Word Count feature of Word (available from the Review tab of the ribbon), you may be shocked some time to find out that the Word Count dialog box shows you have 0 words in your document—even when you can see them on the screen!

If this happens to you, it simply means that you have selected an object in your document (such as a picture or drawing object) before issuing the Word Count command. To get a correct word count, simply place the insertion point somewhere within the text of your document and reissue the command. The Word Count feature should display the expected number of words 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 (12637) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Microsoft 365. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Word Count is Zero.

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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