When writing online articles most times, there’s a requirement of a maximum word count you are to write. When you are faced with situations like these, you may be confused about how to count the number of characters in a Word document. If you are writing a tweet or a Google-friendly meta description, it is the character count that really counts. If you want to know how to count the number of characters in a Word document because of the issues stated above or because of other reasons, we will help show how to count the number of characters in a Word document to make sure you don’t exceed your limit.
I use Microsoft Word every time and it is the most common word processing program in use today. Finding a document’s character count in Word is very simple. You can easily locate the number of characters in a string of text on Google Docs or other word processing programs even if the option is not offered as a standard feature.
Microsoft Word’s Character Count Tool
Just like you can easily find the words in a Word document, you can easily find the number of characters it contains. To easily find the characters it contains:
- Search for the Words section towards the bottom left side of the window.
- This will display a total of the word count in your document.
- When you click on it, the Word Count dialogue box will pop up.
- This will display the character count in the document, with or without spaces.
Alternatively, you can access this tool by:
- Visiting the Review button
- Choose Word Count in the proofing group.
- This will bring up the dialogue box
- You will get information from the dialogue that appears.
If you don’t want to include these in the overall character count, you can uncheck the box beside “Include footnotes and endnotes”. Alternatively you can highlight part of the text and go through the same process to get a character count for a specific section.
Other Word Processors
If you are using another word processor that is not Microsoft word, you’ll also find that they come with a character count tool and a word count tool as standard.
For Google Docs you can:
- Tap on the “Tools” menu at the top of the screen
- Select “Word Count” from the options.
- Alternatively, you can bring up the dialogue by directly tapping on Control + Shift + C
You can use the same approach for most word processors, including OpenOffice, LibreOffice, AbiWord and WordPerfect. Similarly you can:
- Click on Tools
- Select Word Count to bring up the information on all of these platforms.
Online Character Count Tools
Some basic word processors like Windows, Notepad and Wordpad do not come with this feature.
The good news is there are many websites you can access to get the character count for any section of text. Let’s go with a word processor like Character Count Online. This is a basic website with a big window at the center where you can paste your text.
- Above the text box, there are headings for Characters, Words, Sentences, Paragraphs and Whitespace.
- You can copy and paste the text you want to count the characters for into the space on the website and read the number beside “Characters” to see how many there are.
- You must understand that this is the total number of characters including spaces, thus if you want the number of characters without spaces, you’ll have to subtract the number in the Whitespace field from this number.
What is the Difference Between Word Count Vs. Character Count
Searching for a word count also involves the same process as that of character count. The word count tool is accessed the same way the character count is. If you are using Microsoft Word, the Word count is directly visible at the bottom left of the screen, thus you won’t have to click on anything.