An Easy Way to Count Items

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated December 6, 2014)


Last week I was working with a document that actually contained a list of movies in my home video library. Each movie title was on a single line, but as far as Word was concerned, each was a single paragraph. (In other words, each movie title had a "hard return" at its end.)

I got to wondering how many movies I had in my library, so I used a tried-and-true simple way to finding out:

  1. Select all the items. (In this case I selected all the movie titles.)
  2. Display the Home tab of the ribbon.
  3. Click the Numbering tool in the Paragraph group. Each item (movie) is numbered by Word.
  4. Press the Right Arrow on the keyboard. Word displays the very end of the list where you can now see how many items are in the list.
  5. Press Ctrl+Z to undo the numbering.

That's it—quick and easy and you can tell how many items are in whatever group of items you selected in step 1.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (13332) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, and 2013.

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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What is five more than 3?

2018-02-21 12:12:06


Hi Allen,

I am printing postcards (two per page for a total of 600) and need to number each postcard. How can I do this?

2015-05-16 08:10:06

Jill Sharkey

If each movie title is a separate paragraph, click on Word Count in the Status Bar. The dialog displays the number of paragraphs in the document that have text (ignores empty paragraphs).

2014-12-06 11:22:57


Lyn, you opened my eyes... Thanks!

2014-12-06 05:36:48

Lyn Imeson

A quick way to count the occurrences of an item in the text: do a Find/Replace with '^&' in the Replace box. The result tells you how many were found without changing them. Combined with Wildcards this can be very useful.
E.g. I often have to tag items in text. I use this method to check I have the same number of <TIP> tags as </TIP> tags.

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