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How to do a Character Count in Microsoft Word

How to Count Characters in Word

Microsoft Word character count lets you check the number of characters in a document. Here’s how.

What to Know

  • You can do a character count in a Word document by clicking the “Review” tab and selecting “Word Count.”
  • You can see the number of characters with spaces and the character count without spaces.
  • You can add the Word Count icon to the Quick Access Toolbar, so it’s just a click away.
How to do a Character Count in Microsoft Word
Character Count in Microsoft Word

Microsoft Word has a Word Count feature that allows you to count the characters of a document. MS Word also shows the total number of Words, pages, paragraphs, and lines. You can quickly get the current character count in Microsoft Word.

Sometimes you may need to ensure your document has a specific number of characters. Microsoft Word makes it easy to keep track of your character count in two separate ways:

  1. In the status bar at the bottom of the Word document and
  2. In the Review tab of the Ribbon menu.

Microsoft Word character count is not frequently required, but it’s easy to find from the Ribbon menu’s Review tab.

Note: Instructions in this article apply to Word 365, Word 365 for Mac, Word 2021, and Word 2021 for Mac. Word 2019, Word 2019 for Mac, Word 2016, and Word 2016 for Mac. In this article, we’re using Word for Microsoft 365 as an example.

RELATED: How to Check the Word Count in Microsoft Word Document

Where is Character Count in Word?

You can find the character count in Microsoft Word by clicking the Word Count option from the Review tab in the Proofing group. It will show you the character count of your document (with or without spaces).

Character Count in Word for Windows

You can count characters in Word for your entire document or just a part of a text.

Get the Character Count of an Entire Document

The easiest way to get the character count of your entire document is by clicking the word count at the bottom to the left of the status bar. Here’s how.

  1. Click the word count in the status bar of your document.
  2. In the Word Count dialog box, check the number of characters next to the Characters (no spaces) and Characters (with spaces).

Or, select the “Review” tab in the Ribbon menu. Then click the “Word Count” option from the Proofing group to see the character count.

The Word Count dialog box will pop up. You can check the character count next to Characters (with spaces or without spaces).

Tip: The number next to Characters (with spaces) is what you need to check and is the total number of characters.

Get the Character Count of a Specific Section of a Document

In a Word document, you can also get the character count of part of a document. It is helpful if you need to keep the entire Word document under a specific character count. But believe you’re being wordy in a section of text in your document.

All you need to do is click and drag your mouse over the text to highlight the part of a text to get the character count.

Once highlighted, click the word count in the status bar to see the selected text’s character count.

Or, highlight the text you want to see the character count for and click “Word Count” from the “Review” tab. Then in the Word Count dialog box, look at the number next to Characters.

Shortcut: Press Ctrl + Shift + G on your keyboard simultaneously to show the Character Count and other document stats on your screen.

RELATED: How to Use Microsoft Word (A Step-by-Step Guide)

Character Count in Word for Mac

You can also count characters in Word of an entire document (or a part of it) on Mac. Here’s how.

Get the Character Count of an Entire Document

To get the character count of your entire document, click the word count in the status bar at the bottom. The word count dialog box shows the stats of a complete Word document, including the number of characters.

Or, click the “Tools” menu at the top. Then select “Word Count” from the list to check the character count of an entire document.

The character count appears next to Characters, as seen in the image below.

Get the Character Count of a Specific Section of a Document

In Word for Mac, you can also check the character count of part of a document. To do so, highlight the text by clicking and dragging your mouse pointer over the text you want to count. Then, click the word count in the status bar to see the number of characters in the selected text.

Or, bring the Word Count dialog box by clicking Tools > Word Count and then look at the number next to Characters.

Checking character count in Microsoft Word isn’t the only feature. You can also check the pages, paragraphs, and lines.

Get a Character Count in Word with a Single Click

In Word, you can easily add the Word Count tool to the Quick Access toolbar, which is the row of icons in the upper left corner of the title bar. 

After you’ve added it, you can select the icon to get a character count without going to the Ribbon menu’s Review tab.

In Word for Windows

  1. Select the “Review” tab from the Ribbon menu and right-click on the “Word Count” option. 
  2. A pop-up menu will appear, then select “Add to Quick Access Toolbar.

Right-click on Word Count to add it to the Quick Access Toolbar. 

In Word for Mac

  1. Click the drop-down arrow on the right of the Quick Access Toolbar in the Word menu.
  2. Select “More Commands.
  3. From the Ribbon & Toolbar window, choose the Quick Access Toolbar tab.
  4. Under Choose commands from, select “Review Tab.
  5. Then scroll to the bottom. Select “Word Count,” and to add it to the Customize Quick Access Toolbar list, click the right arrow.
  6. Click “Save” to confirm.

Open the Ribbon & Toolbar window to add Word count to the Quick Access Toolbar on Mac.

If You Don’t Have MS Word

If you don’t have MS Word installed on your computer and need to count characters in your document, you can use Microsoft Word online for free. Here’s how.

  1. Visit the Word online webpage.
  2. Click the “Sign up for free” button.
  3. Create your free account.
  4. From the Office homepage, select the Word app.
  5. Then, drag and drop an existing file or upload it onto the web app.
  6. Once your file opens in Word online, click Review > Word Count.
  7. In the Document stats dialog box, check the number of characters in your document and the character count without spaces.

Tip: The number under “Characters” is the total character count of your document with spaces.

RELATED: How Do I Use Microsoft Office for Free on the Web


We hope this article helped teach you how to do a Character Count in Microsoft Word. You should now be able to count characters with ease. Furthermore, you now know how to count words or pages in your document.

This feature can assist you in keeping track of your writing, whether for work, school, or fun. It is critical to be able to track your progress.