Whether you’re writing a marketing report with a firm 500 word limit, or are just curious if your blog post hits your editor’s 1,000-word minimum requirement, the word count tool in Google Docs can come in handy.
It’s a simple tool to ensure your content is an appropriate length. You can use it for more than just total word count, too -- you can also measure how many words you have within a section, how many characters you have, and your page count.
To learn how to use word count in a Google doc, or to get a firmer understanding on what it offers, read on.
How to See Word Count in Google Docs
1. At the top of your Google Doc, click “Tools” and then select “Word Count”.
2. Here, you can see how many pages you have in your Doc (three), how many total words you have (777), how many characters you have (4992), and how many characters, excluding spaces, you have (4204). Characters are individual letters (“hey” is one word, but three characters), and typically only matters if a job or school application requires a character limit, rather than a word limit.
3. Next, let’s see how you can check the word count in a specific section. First, highlight the paragraph or section you want to measure. Below, I chose to highlight my third paragraph to get word count information on just that paragraph.
4. With a paragraph or section highlighted, click “Tools” and then “Word Count”. As you can see below, the Word Count now tells me how many words my third paragraph has compared to the entire Doc (59 out of 776), which page it’s on (1), and how many characters it has compared to the entire piece (400). This is useful if you need to cut down on word count for a specific section of your Doc.
There is also a shortcut to find your word count -- click “command + Shift + C,” and it’ll pop right up.
Now, you’re equipped to measure the word count, character count, or page length of your Doc, which helps you hit word-limit or page-limit requirements. Word count is also an important tool to use when choosing your audience: 1,000 words is good for a blog audience, but 10,000 might be better as an e-book … or short novel.