Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, and 2016. 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 Document Lines.
by Allen Wyatt
(last updated November 29, 2017)
Word provides a tool you can use to return simple statistics about your document. One of the statistics it can provide is the number of lines in your document. In order to see how many lines there are in your document, display the Review tab of the ribbon and click the Word Count tool in the Proofing group. After a short delay (depending on the size of your document and the speed of your computer), Word displays the Word Count dialog box. (See Figure 1.)
Figure 1. The Word Count dialog box.
One of the statistics provided in the Word Count dialog box is Lines. The value returned by Word depends on several things. First, it obviously depends on the formatting of your document. For instance, if you decrease the point size of text within your document, that can affect the line count. Second, the printer driver you are using can affect the number of lines in your document. In both instances, the differences are due to the different ways in which Word "flows" your text in the document. When the point size is smaller, Word can fit more characters on each given line, thereby reducing the overall number of lines required to present the same information. Likewise, using a different printer driver could result in a slightly different rendering of a font. For instance, the same font may appear more "compressed" on one printer than on another. This, again, means different amounts of information per line and a potentially different line count.
Finally, hidden text can affect the line count returned in the Word Count dialog box. If you have the printing of hidden text turned off, Word doesn't count hidden text in the line count. If you want it to be considered, make sure you configure Word to print hidden text.
WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (12688) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, 2013, and 2016. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Counting Document Lines.
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