How to Check Word Count on Google Docs? (Explained)

When you are doing a project based on a specific word count, it’s essential to see the word count on your screen. Google docs have become a popular source of writing and sharing documents easily. And it can show you the word count, but you have to do some settings to enable that.

So, if you don’t know how to check word count on Google docs, I am here to help you with it. I will go through all the steps and settings you need to follow to enable word count check on Google docs.
Let’s get going then.

Checking word count on google docs

Now, there are two ways you can do it. You can either check the word count separately by going through some options. Or you can use a setting for counting words as you type them. I will go through both here.

Counting words for a long document

Here are the steps you need to follow for word counts in a long document.

  1. Open up your Google doc file. Or you can create a new one.
  2. Then, on the top bar, you will find the “Tool” drop-down menu. Click on that.
  3. There you will find an option called word count. When you click that, it shows you the word count for your whole article.

You see word counts and get to see characters, pages, and characters without spaces.

Counting words while typing

Well, it’s pretty easy to enable that. Here’s what you do-

  1. Open your google doc file and go to the tool dropdown menu.
  2. Choose that option and then go to word count.
  3. There you will see a checkbox that says, “Display word count while typing.”
  4. This brings up a pop-up on the bottom with the word count as you type.

It’s very convenient to keep track of your words while you type for smaller content. It’s not that necessary for larger content, though.

Word counts for specific parts of an article.

What if you want to find out word counts for specific parts of your content? You can do it in two ways as well. You can either do it following the first method where you see the word count separately.

For that, all you have to do is highlight the part you want to find the word count of. Then, follow the same process as finding the word count regularly. This shows you the word count for highlighted words.

If you use the word counts while typing, it’s a lot easier. You have to highlight the words you want to see the word count for. It’s beneficial if you have specific word count instructions for your article.

Checking word count on mobile

For those who type on their mobile phone, you can also check the word count for your article. It’s very simple. Just follow the steps below-

  1. Go to your Google docs app.
  2. From there, you can choose your document.
  3. When the document opens, you will find a menu option on the top right. It usually has three dots horizontally.
  4. Once you click that, you will see several options. Select the word count option from there.
  5. This will show the total word count, characters, and characters without spaces.

You can’t see the page count on your phone. Now, if you want to check the word count for specific parts, you can do it similarly as you did for a computer. Just highlight the part you want to find word count for and then go to the toolbar to select word count.

What does the word count include?

Sometimes different software has a different algorithm for counting words. For example, the word count comes in Google docs, excluding the header part, footer part, and footnotes. Also, it doesn’t consider symbols or signs to be words.

Another thing to know about the google docs word count system is it counts links a bit differently. It can get higher than the manual word count if there are dashes in the link. Because of this, you will need to be careful with the word count when there are long links involved in your content.

So, how is it different from other applications? Let’s compare it with another popular document application Microsoft Word.

In Microsoft Word, the word count is displayed on the bottom part of the interface. It shows the word count as you type by default. Now, the difference comes with counting symbols as words on Microsoft word.

Signs like “<” also count as a word on Microsoft Word. Also, you get the word counts for headers and footers on this application.

It all comes down to what you prefer to use. And there is no right one or better one. It’s just that different software has different ways to determine word counts.

What’s the importance of word count?

Well, this mainly depends on what your document is about and the purpose of it. Also, it has a lot to do with your targeted readers.

For example, when you have an assignment, you will probably have a word limit on that. So, it’s essential to keep track of your word count as you write, so you don’t go overboard or write less.

Also, when you are writing content for websites, it’s essential to maintain the proper word count. It helps in SEO for your content. So, word counts can be very important depending on the purpose of your content.


In short, now you know how to check word count on google docs to no issues with words counts anymore. There are several ways to do so, and you can choose the one based on your preferences. No matter how you do it, it’s great for any document to keep track of the word count.

As you already saw, it’s not that difficult, and you don’t need any particular app. It’s a valuable and effective functionality that you should always use.

Al Shariar Apon

Al Shariar Apon is a Digital Marketing Specialist with over 4 years of Marketing & Design experience based out of Khulna, Bangladesh. But I'm very passionate about photography from my childhood. So I have participated and won some photography contests.

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