How to Check Word Count in Google Docs

After switching from Word to Google Docs, I first noticed the missing words and characters counter. 

Many documents have a minimum/maximum word count limit, especially assignments and news articles.

Though Google Docs has a word count feature, it’s not visible by default. You can use a shortcut ctrl + shift + c to view and show the word count while typing. 

Check Word Count Using Menu on Google Docs

Google Docs menu bar is enriched with dozens of features. You can do anything using it. 

  1. Open a web browser and go to the Google Docs dashboard. 
  2. Open your document where you need to check the word count. 
  3. Click Tools from the menu bar. Click on Tools
  4. Select Word count from the menu. Select Word Count
  5. A pop-up with the total word count, page numbers, and characters will appear on your screen.  Check word count Google Docs

Check Word Count Using A Shortcut on Google Docs

Open your document in a new tab and press ctrl + shift + c on Windows or cmd + shift + c on Mac to view the word count.

Select Display word count while typing and click OK.

Display word count while typing Google Docs

You can see the total word count while typing at the bottom left corner of Google Docs.

Check Word Count of Selected Texts on Google Docs

Generally, when you open the word count tool using the menu or shortcut, it shows the data for the entire document.

Sometimes, you need to check the word count of specific sections of your document. 

Display word count while typing Google Docs

First, press ctrl + shift + c on Windows or cmd + shift + c on Mac and enable word count while typing. 

Word count of selected text Google Docs

Select the paragraphs or lines you want to count the word number of. The word counter will display the total words.

View detailed word count

You can click on it to view the details of total words, characters, and characters without spaces. 

Check Word Count on the Docs app

You can check the total word count of a document using the Docs app. 

Google Docs Word Count on App
  1. Launch the Docs app on your smartphone.
  2. Tap on the document you want to edit to open it.
  3. Tap icon at the top right corner of the app.
  4. Select Word count from the menu.
  5. It shows total words, characters, and characters excluding spaces. 

Unlike the web version, it doesn’t show the page numbers, as the mobile app doesn’t use a paging system. 

Check Word Count of Selected Texts on Docs App

Selected word count Google Docs
  1. Open the Docs app on your device.
  2. Tap on the document to open it, and press the Edit icon at the bottom right corner.
  3. Double-tap any word to enable the cursor and select the texts using the cursor.
  4. Tap the horizontal three-dots icon at the top right corner.
  5. Select Word count. It shows the word and characters of selected texts alongside the total number. 

These are the built-in methods of checking the word count on Google Docs. 

The problem is every word processor has its own methods of counting words. That’s why the word count in Docs varies from WordPress or Microsoft Word. 

You can use an extension to use the word count effectively. 

Check Word Count in Google Docs With An Extension

  1. Open your document in a new tab.
  2. Click Extensions from the menu bar. Click on Extensions
  3. Select Add-ons from the menu and click Get add-ons. Click Get add ons
  4. Search for Word Counter Max for Google Docs. Search for Word counter max
  5. Click on the add-on from the search results.
  6. Click Install and select Continue from the pop-up. Click on Install an Continue
  7. Select your Google account associated with the document and allow the permissions.
  8. Click Extensions from the menu bar, select Word Counter Max for Google Docs, and click on View (Full). Enable Word Counter Extension

You can view the word count on the right sidebar of your document. You can set a total word target for your document. 

Session target Word Counter Max

The extension also has a feature to generate a reading time estimate, click on it from the sidebar, and it shows the total reading time.

Count word within selection

To check the word count of a selection, select the texts from the document and tick Count words within selection on the right sidebar.

Floating word counter

You can generate a floating word counter by navigating to Extensions > Word Counter Max for Google Docs and selecting View (Barebones Floating). 

What is the best way to check word count in Google Docs?

Unfortunately, there’s no ideal method, as every app has its own algorithms. 

You must check the word count using the app your recipient will use, or it may cause misunderstanding. 

If both the sender and receiver use Google Docs as a medium, you can follow any of the methods from this article.

Which one do I use?

I love shortcuts, and I love to do most things using my keyboard instead of my mouse. So, I press cmd + shift + c after opening any document in Google Docs. 

Staff Writer

Avishek Das is currently studying for his bachelor's degree, and spends hours doing assignments and making presentations. He loves word processors and presentation makers. 

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