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

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated June 4, 2022)

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. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Printing a Range of Pages

If your worksheet, when printed, requires more than a single page to print, you may want to only print a range of the ...

Discover More

Controlling Date Formats in a Mail Merge

One of the data sources that Word allows you to use for your mail merges is an Excel worksheet. You may get unexpected ...

Discover More

Finding Documents Containing Multiple Occurrences of a Word

Searching for documents that contain a particular word is rather straightforward. The task becomes a bit trickier when ...

Discover More

The First and Last Word on Word! Bestselling For Dummies author Dan Gookin puts his usual fun and friendly candor back to work to show you how to navigate Word 2013. Spend more time working and less time trying to figure it all out! Check out Word 2013 For Dummies today!

More WordTips (ribbon)

Correcting Student Papers

If you are a teacher, you may be looking for ways you can use Word's features to correct papers your students send to you ...

Discover More

Setting a Default for the Object Browser

Does it bother you that when you press Ctrl+Page Up or Ctrl+Page Down you aren't always taken to the top of the previous ...

Discover More

Mass Search and Replace

If you need to change information in dozens or even hundreds of documents, the task can seem insurmountable. Here's a way ...

Discover More
Subscribe

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

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

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}] (all 7 characters, in the sequence shown) 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 seven less than 7?

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.

Videos
Subscribe

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.