How to Check Word Count in Google Docs

word count for google docs
Word Count for Google Docs

Google Docs is one of the most popular word processors available today. With its minimalist interface, collaborative editing capabilities, and integration with other Google services, Docs makes writing documents easy. One of the handiest features in Google Docs is the ability to check the word count for your documents.

Knowing the word count for Google Docs can be useful when you have length restrictions for assignments, reports, articles, or other projects. Fortunately, Google Docs provides an easy way to see the word count for your documents right within the app. In this blog post, we’ll cover everything you need to know about checking Google Docs words and word count on Google Docs.

Also Read: How to Enable Dark Mode for Google Docs on Desktop

Why Check Word Count in Google Docs

Here are some of the main reasons you may want to check word count when writing in Google Docs:

  • Meet length requirements – Many school assignments, academic papers, business reports, and other documents require a specific word count or page length. Checking the count lets you ensure your document meets the necessary length.
  • Optimize content – If you are writing blog posts, articles, or other content for publication, checking the word count can help you meet optimization guidelines for ideal length.
  • Even out sections – Reviewing word counts for individual sections can help you balance out the length and depth of coverage in your document.
  • Estimate reading time – Word counts give you an approximation of how long your document will take to read. This can be helpful for presentations, reports, and more.
  • Compare drafts – Looking at the word count differences between drafts can show you how much you have expanded or tightened your writing over time.
  • Split work evenly – When collaborating with others, you can divide sections based on target word counts to distribute the workload.

No matter your reason for checking word count, Google Docs has you covered with a simple way to access this information.

How to Check Word Count on Google Docs

Checking the word count of your document on Google Docs just takes a few clicks. Here is a step-by-step guide:

  1. Open the Google Docs document you want to check.
  2. Click on the Tools menu at the top.
  3. Select Word Count from the drop-down menu.
  4. A pop-up box will appear displaying the word count, character count, and other statistics about your document.
  5. The Word Count number shows the total number of words in your document.
  6. Review the word count and other stats.
  7. Click outside the pop-up box or on the X to close it.
  8. Now you know the exact word total for your Doc!

You can check your word count this way at any time to see how your total grows as you write or edit. The word count box also displays the character count, paragraph count, and page count.

Checking Word Count for Selected Text

In addition to the total document word count, you can also check the count for a selected portion of text:

  1. Highlight the text you want to check.
  2. Right-click on the selected text.
  3. Choose Word Count from the pop-up menu.
  4. A box will pop up with the word count just for your selection.

This makes it easy to see stats for a particular section without having to copy it out separately.

Word Count on Google Docs Mobile App

The Google Docs app for Android and iOS also lets you access word count tools:

On Android:

  1. Open the document in the Google Docs app.
  2. Tap the 3-dot menu icon in the top right corner.
  3. Choose Word Count from the menu.
  4. The word count box will open. Review and close it.

On iPhone:

  1. Open the document in the Google Docs iOS app.
  2. Tap the 3-dot “more” menu icon at the top.
  3. Select Word Count from the menu options.
  4. The word count tool will appear. Review and dismiss it.

So no matter what device you use Google Docs on, you can easily keep track of word counts for your documents on the go.

Also Read: How to Voice Typing on Google Docs

Why Google Docs Word Count is Useful

Accessing the built-in word count function in Google Docs provides several benefits:

  • Saves time – Instantly see the word total instead of having to manually count or copy-paste into a separate word counter.
  • Accuracy – The tool provides an exact, up-to-date count as you write rather than an estimate.
  • Embedded in Docs – The word count box opens directly within your document for continuous access.
  • Real-time tracking – The count updates live as you type so you can monitor your progress.
  • Works offline – The word count is available even without an internet connection. The totals sync when you go back online.
  • Consistency – Everyone accessing the Doc sees the same word count, which is helpful for collaboration.
  • No copy-pasting – You can check counts for specific sections right within the Doc without copying text out to another app.
  • Mobile availability – Word count works across devices so you can track length on phones and tablets on the go.

With these benefits, it’s easy to see why using the built-in word counter is better than relying on external tools.

Tips for Checking Word Count

Here are some tips to get the most value from the word count feature when writing in Google Docs:

  • Check your count periodically as you write rather than just at the end. This helps ensure you don’t significantly overshoot or undershoot your target length.
  • Use the feature when collaborating on documents to divide sections fairly by word count among writers.
  • If you have an upper word limit, set up a running tally at the top of the Doc subtracting your current count from the max so you know how many more words you have to play with.
  • To estimate page count based on word count, take your total and divide by 275 for single-spaced or 550 for double spaced. This approximates page length.
  • Make use of the word count for selected text when drafting to get totals for specific passages or sections without copying and pasting.
  • For very large Docs, narrow your selection to parts you want to focus on when checking count rather than repeatedly getting totals for the full text.
  • Compare word counts between drafts to see at a glance how much the length has expanded or contracted between revisions.

Troubleshooting Word Count Issues

In most cases, the Google Docs Word counter works smoothly. But sometimes, you may run into issues with inaccurate counts or other glitches.

Here are some troubleshooting tips:

  • If the count seems off, close out the word count box and reopen it. The tool may fail to update automatically in real-time.
  • Try selecting all text (Ctrl/Cmd+A) before rechecking the count if totals seem lower than they should be. This forces a recalculation.
  • Make sure tracked changes are accepted and all comments are resolved, as these can interfere with accurate counts.
  • For Docs with images, charts, or tables, text in these elements isn’t always included in the total. Manually add it to your tally if needed.
  • If word count is available but zero or missing, close and reopen the document to refresh the tools.
  • If issues persist, try checking counts in a new blank document to make sure your word count tool is functioning properly in general.

In most cases, a quick refresh resolves any word-counting errors. But if problems continue, you may want to report the bug directly to Google for troubleshooting.

Also Read: How to Draw in Google Docs

Alternatives for Checking Word Count

While the built-in word counter is the easiest way to get Docs word counts, there are some alternatives you can use as well:

  • Microsoft Word – Download the Doc as a Word file to check count (also shows character count with spaces).
  • Google Sheet – Paste the text into a Sheet cell and use the LEN formula to get length.
  • Online text tools – Copy and paste text into an online word counter if you need a web-based option.
  • PDF counter – Print or convert to PDF to count words in a PDF reader or word counting tool.
  • Word processing apps – Open the Doc in desktop word apps like Word or Pages to see their word count display.
  • Text editing programs – If you use apps like Notepad++, Sublime, or BBEdit, check for add-ons that offer word counts.

However, the built-in Docs word count generally works fastest without the hassle of exports. But alternate options are available in a pinch!

Word Count Accessibility on Google Docs

Google Docs includes accessibility features to make word count available to more users:

  • Screen reader compatibility – Text-to-speech software can read the word count aloud for visually impaired users.
  • Keyboard shortcuts – Keyboard-only users can access word count with Ctrl/Cmd + Shift + C on a desktop.
  • Dyslexia-friendly font – Google’s new Lexend font option is designed for readers with dyslexia.
  • Interface localization – Docs is translated into over 60 languages to provide word count globally.
  • Compatibility mode – Simplified versions of Docs are available if needed for assistive technology users.

Word count is an important tool that should be at everyone’s fingertips. Google Docs makes commendable efforts to offer it inclusively.

Also Read: How to Enable Grammarly in Google Docs

Wrapping Up

Being able to check the word count of your documents directly in Google Docs saves you time and gives you important metrics to improve your writing. Whether you need to hit an exact length target or analyze how a draft has evolved, the word counter has you covered. Use it to ensure your Docs meet requirements, balance sections, estimate reading times, split collaborative work, and more.

With the step-by-step guide in this post, you can easily access word counts on desktop and mobile. Keep the troubleshooting tips in mind if you run into any issues with accuracy. And consider supplemental options like Microsoft Word or online tools if you need alternatives.

Hopefully, you now feel confident about how to check word count whenever you need it for your next Google Doc! Let us know if you have any other questions.

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