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

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated January 17, 2015)

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, and 2013. 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. ...


Setting the Number of Default Worksheets

Excel allows the user to determine how many default worksheets are in a new workbook.

Discover More

Preparing a Chart Sheet for Printing

One type of chart that Excel allows you to create is one that occupies an entire worksheet. When it comes time to print ...

Discover More

Pay Attention to Case when Searching for ASCII Codes

Word allows you to search for specific ASCII codes in a document. If you use codes to search for alphabetic characters, ...

Discover More

Do More in Less Time! Are you ready to harness the full power of Word 2013 to create professional documents? In this comprehensive guide you'll learn the skills and techniques for efficiently building the documents you need for your professional and your personal life. Check out Word 2013 In Depth today!

More WordTips (ribbon)

Generating a List of Unique Words

Need to grab a list of unique words appearing in a document? You can tap the power of VBA's Words collection to perform ...

Discover More

Automatic Scrolling

Spend a lot of time scrolling around in your document? You might find one of Word's hidden scrolling commands to be a ...

Discover More

Comparing Document Versions

Do you need to compare two versions of a document to each other? Word provides a tool that can make this easy, as ...

Discover More

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.


If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is six more than 8?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)

This Site

Got a version of Word that uses the ribbon interface (Word 2007 or later)? This site is for you! If you use an earlier version of Word, visit our WordTips site focusing on the menu interface.

Newest Tips

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.