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 Counts for a Group of Documents.

Word Counts for a Group of Documents

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated May 6, 2024)
This tip applies to Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Microsoft 365


Lise is working with 50 small documents, many less than a page long. All are in separate files (no master or subdocuments). She'd like to know the total word count in all the files and wonders if there is an easy way to get the count.

One option is to use a third-party add-in that can calculate the word counts for you. Here are three suggestions you may want to check out:

WordCounter: http://www.editorium.com/counter.htm
FineCount: http://www.tilti.com/software-for-translators/finecount/
Total Assistant: http://www.surefiresoftware.com/totalassistant/

Of course, if you prefer to "roll your own" rather than to rely on somebody else's solution, you can create a relatively simple macro that will step through each file in a folder and calculate a total word count.

Sub GetWordCount()
    Dim docname As String
    Dim NumWords As Long
    Dim NumFiles As Integer
    Dim PathName As String

    PathName = "c:\mypath\"

    NumWords = 0
    docname = Dir(PathName & "*.doc*")
    While docname <> ""
        NumFiles = NumFiles + 1
        Documents.Open FileName:=PathName & docname, Visible:=False
        Documents(docname).Activate

        NumWords = NumWords + ActiveDocument.BuiltInDocumentProperties("Number of words").Value

        Documents(docname).Close savechanges:=False
        docname = Dir
    Wend

    MsgBox ("There are " & NumWords & " words in " & NumFiles & " documents.")
End Sub

To use the macro, make sure you change the PathName variable so that it reflects the path to the folder containing the documents you want to tally. (The path designation must end in a backslash.) When you run the macro, it displays the word count in a message box.

Note:

If you would like to know how to use the macros described on this page (or on any other page on the WordTips sites), I've prepared a special page that includes helpful information. Click here to open that special page in a new browser tab.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (13278) 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 Counts for a Group of Documents.

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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