How to Get a Word Count for a Document in Google Docs: A Step-by-Step Guide

Knowing your document’s word count in Google Docs is as simple as a few clicks. All you need to do is go to the ‘Tools’ menu, select ‘Word count’, and a window will pop up showing the number of pages, words, characters, and characters excluding spaces in your document.

After you complete the action, the word count window will display the total number of words in your document, as well as additional information such as the number of pages, characters, and characters excluding spaces.


In the world of writing, whether it’s for school, work, or personal projects, keeping track of your word count is crucial. It can be the difference between meeting or missing your target length for an essay, article, or report. For those who use Google Docs as their primary word processor, it’s important to know how to quickly find out the length of your document. This not only helps you to manage your content effectively but also ensures that you meet any word limits or requirements.

This function is particularly relevant for students who have word count limits for their assignments, writers who need to keep their articles or stories within a certain length, and professionals who aim for brevity in their reports or presentations.

Step by Step Tutorial: Get a Word Count for a Document in Google Docs

Before we dive into the steps, it’s important to note that checking your word count regularly can help you manage your writing more effectively.

Step 1: Open your document in Google Docs

Locate and open the Google Docs document for which you want to get a word count.

Opening your document is the first step to finding out how many words it contains. It’s a straightforward process – just navigate to Google Docs, find your document in the list, and open it.

Step 2: Click on ‘Tools’

Find and click on the ‘Tools’ option in the top menu bar of Google Docs.

The ‘Tools’ menu is where you’ll find various features to help you with your document, including the word count function.

Step 3: Select ‘Word count’ from the dropdown menu

In the ‘Tools’ menu, you’ll see an option for ‘Word count’ – click on it to proceed.

This action will bring up the word count window, which is going to give you the data you’re looking for.

Step 4: View the word count statistics

A window will pop up showing the number of pages, words, characters, and characters excluding spaces in your document.

This window is your destination – it provides a detailed breakdown of your document’s length in different metrics, helping you understand its size at a glance.


Quick AccessThe word count tool in Google Docs is easily accessible from the ‘Tools’ menu, providing quick and convenient access to the statistics of your document.
Detailed StatisticsNot only does the word count tool show the total number of words, but it also provides additional data such as page count, and character counts with and without spaces.
Helps Manage ContentRegularly checking the word count helps writers manage their content more effectively, ensuring they meet any specific length requirements for their document.


May Not Count Text in Headers/FootersGoogle Docs’ word count tool does not count the text included in headers and footers, which may lead to a discrepancy in the total word count for some documents.
No Real-time CountUnlike some other writing tools, Google Docs does not offer a real-time word count feature, which means you have to manually check it.
Limited to Google DocsThis specific word count feature is limited to Google Docs and does not apply to other word processors, which can be inconvenient for those who use multiple platforms.

Additional Information

While the steps above cover the basics of how to get a word count for a document in Google Docs, there are other tips and insights that can enhance your experience. For instance, you can use keyboard shortcuts to quickly open the word count window without having to navigate through the menus – on Windows, it’s Ctrl+Shift+C, and on Mac, it’s Command+Shift+C.

It’s also worth noting that any text in headers, footers, or footnotes won’t be included in the word count, so keep that in mind if your document has a lot of such content. Additionally, if you’re working on a larger project and only need the word count of a specific section, you can highlight that section and then open the word count tool to get statistics for just the highlighted portion.


  1. Open your document in Google Docs.
  2. Click on ‘Tools’ in the top menu bar.
  3. Select ‘Word count’ from the dropdown menu.
  4. View the word count statistics in the pop-up window.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I get a word count for a specific section of my document?

Yes, by highlighting the section you want to count and then following the steps to get the word count, Google Docs will provide the statistics for just the highlighted portion.

Is there a way to display the word count while I write?

Google Docs does not currently offer a feature to display the word count in real-time as you write, but you can quickly access it using the steps provided or keyboard shortcuts.

Will the word count include text in footnotes?

No, the word count in Google Docs does not include the text in footnotes, headers, or footers.

Can I use keyboard shortcuts to view the word count?

Yes, on Windows, you can use Ctrl+Shift+C, and on Mac, you can use Command+Shift+C to open the word count window.

Is the word count feature available in other languages besides English?

Yes, the word count feature in Google Docs works for documents in any language supported by Google Docs.


Mastering the word count feature in Google Docs is a simple yet vital skill for anyone involved in writing. It not only allows you to keep track of your document length but also plays a significant role in managing your content effectively. Remember that while Google Docs provides an efficient way to measure your document’s length, it has its limitations, such as not counting text in headers and footers and lacking a real-time count.

However, with the quick access and detailed statistics it offers, Google Docs remains a powerful tool for writers of all kinds. So next time you’re knee-deep in writing, don’t forget to keep an eye on that all-important word count.

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