Counting Words in Comments

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated May 26, 2018)

Linda wonders if there is a way to count the number of words that are within the comments (and only the comments) in a document.

The easiest way to accomplish this task is to use a macro. This is because Word makes available to VBA a Comments collection which includes all of the comments in the document. All you need to do is to step through each comment and then look at the Count property for the Words collection for the comment, in this manner:

Sub CommentWordCount1()
    Dim c As Comment
    Dim lWords As Long
    Dim sMsg As String

    For Each c In ActiveDocument.Comments
        lWords = lWords + c.Range.Words.Count
    Next c

    sMsg = "There are " & ActiveDocument.Comments.Count
    sMsg = sMsg & " comments in the document. & vbCrLf & vbCrLf
    sMsg = sMsg & "Word count: " & lWords
    MsgBox sMsg
End Sub

If you prefer, you could also use the ComputeStatistics method to come up with the word counts, like this:

Sub CommentWordCount2()
    Dim c As Comment
    Dim lWords As Long
    Dim sMsg As String

    For Each c In ActiveDocument.Comments
        lWords = lWords + c.Range.ComputeStatistics(wdStatisticWords)
    Next c

    sMsg = "There are " & ActiveDocument.Comments.Count
    sMsg = sMsg & " comments in the document. & vbCrLf & vbCrLf
    sMsg = sMsg & "Word count: " & lWords
    MsgBox sMsg
End Sub

When you compare the results from the two macros, you may notice a difference in word counts. This is because of the way that the CompuStatistics method treats punctuation when doing its calculations. You'll want to compare the results and, based on the characteristics of the information in your comments, choose the approach that best suits your needs.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (13531) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, 2013, and 2016.

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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