Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Word in Microsoft 365, and 2021. 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 in Multiple Selections.

Word Count in Multiple Selections

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated June 4, 2022)
This tip applies to Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Word in Microsoft 365, and 2021


Do you need to count words in different, non-contiguous blocks of text? For instance, do you need to count the words in the body areas of a document, but not in the headings? You can follow these steps to get the count you need:

  1. Select the first block of text you need included in the word count.
  2. Hold down the Ctrl key as you use the mouse to select the second and any additional blocks of text.
  3. Display the Review tab of the ribbon.
  4. Click the Word Count tool, in the Proofing group.

That's it; the count returned represents all the words in the selected text—even though the text blocks are not contiguous.

Another approach (if you have a hard time selecting the multiple selections) is to simply copy the selections to a new document and then do the word count on that new document. You can then throw away the new document, as you no longer need it.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (13358) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Word in Microsoft 365, and 2021. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Word Count in Multiple Selections.

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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