How to Check Word Count on Google Docs: A Step-by-Step Guide

Checking word count on Google Docs is pretty straightforward. All you need to do is click on "Tools" in the menu bar, select "Word count" from the dropdown menu, and a box will pop up displaying the number of pages, words, characters, and characters excluding spaces in your document. This quick overview should get you started on understanding how to find the word count of your document in Google Docs.

Step by Step Tutorial: How to Check Word Count on Google Docs

Before we dive into the steps, it’s essential to know why checking the word count is necessary. Whether you’re a student trying to meet a word limit for an assignment, a writer keeping track of your work’s length, or just curious about the size of your document, Google Docs makes it easy to find out.

Step 1: Open your Google Docs document

Open the document you want to check the word count for.

When you open your document, make sure you’re logged into your Google account. The document can be a new one or an existing file that you’ve worked on previously.

Step 2: Click on the "Tools" menu

Look for the "Tools" option in the menu bar at the top of the page.

The "Tools" menu is between the "Insert" and "Add-ons" options on the menu bar. It’s the go-to place for most of the functions you’ll need while working within Google Docs.

Step 3: Select "Word count" from the dropdown menu

Click on "Word count," which is usually the fifth option from the top in the "Tools" dropdown menu.

Once you select "Word count," a small window will appear, showing the word count statistics of your document.

After completing these steps, the word count box will show the total number of pages, words, characters (including spaces), and characters (without spaces) in your document. You can use this information to keep track of your writing, meet specific requirements, or for personal knowledge.

Tips for Checking Word Count on Google Docs

  • To quickly open the word count box, you can use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl+Shift+C (Cmd+Shift+C on Mac).
  • The word count tool also counts words in headers, footers, and footnotes.
  • If you only need the word count of a particular section, highlight the text before opening the word count tool, and it will display the count for just the selected text.
  • Remember that the word count tool won’t automatically update as you type; you’ll need to reopen it to get the latest count.
  • Google Docs does not include text within images or text boxes in the word count.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the easiest way to access the word count on Google Docs?

The easiest way is to use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl+Shift+C (Cmd+Shift+C on Mac) to bring up the word count box quickly.

Can I leave the word count box open while I write?

Yes, you can leave the word count box open while you write, but you have to manually refresh it to update the count by closing and reopening it.

Does the word count feature include text in tables?

Yes, the word count in Google Docs includes all text within the document, including tables.

Why is the word count different when I select a specific section of the text?

When you highlight a section of text and open the word count tool, it will display the count for just that selected text, which is why the number may be different.

Is there a way to see the word count without opening the word count box?

As of now, Google Docs does not offer a persistent on-screen word count display, so you must open the word count box to view it.


  1. Open your Google Docs document.
  2. Click on the "Tools" menu.
  3. Select "Word count" from the dropdown menu.


Now that you’ve gone through the ins and outs of checking word count on Google Docs, you can easily keep track of your document’s length. Whether you’re working on a novel, essay, or report, knowing the word count is crucial for meeting requirements and staying on track. Plus, with handy shortcuts and tips, you can streamline your writing process even more. Just remember, Google Docs is more than just a word processor; it’s a tool that can help you become a more efficient and productive writer. So, go ahead and take advantage of all the features it has to offer, including the simple but useful word count tool. Happy writing!