How to Count Characters in Microsoft Word 2013: A Step-by-Step Guide

Counting characters in Microsoft Word 2013 is a quick and simple process. It’s a matter of a few clicks: open the “Review” tab, then click on “Word Count”, and a box will pop up displaying the number of characters in your document, both with and without spaces.

After completing this action, you’ll have a clear idea of the character count in your document, which is particularly useful for meeting specific writing guidelines or character limits for various projects.


Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you needed to keep your writing within a certain character count? Maybe you’re crafting a tweet, filling out an online form with a character limit, or writing an essay that requires brevity. Whatever the case, knowing how to count characters in Microsoft Word 2013 can save you the hassle of guesswork and the risk of breaching limits.

Microsoft Word 2013 is a powerful tool used by millions around the world for creating documents. It’s favored by students, professionals, and anyone in between. But with all its features, it’s easy to overlook the simple tools that make life easier, like the character count function. Whether you’re writing a novel, a report, or a cover letter, keeping track of your character count ensures that you’re concise, to the point, and within any given constraints. It’s an essential skill for anyone who takes writing seriously.

Step by Step Tutorial: Counting Characters in Microsoft Word 2013

The following steps will guide you through the process of counting characters in your Microsoft Word 2013 document.

Step 1: Open your document in Microsoft Word 2013.

First, make sure you have your document opened in Word 2013.

Opening your document is the initial step. Make sure Microsoft Word 2013 is installed on your computer, and open the document you wish to check the character count for by double-clicking the file or opening it through the Word 2013 program.

Step 2: Click on the “Review” tab on the Ribbon.

Find and click on the “Review” tab located in the Ribbon at the top of the Word window.

The “Review” tab is where you’ll find tools for proofreading and reviewing your document. It’s the gateway to the Word Count function, which is what you’re looking for.

Step 3: Click on “Word Count”.

Within the “Review” tab, look for the “Word Count” button and click on it to bring up the character count box.

The “Word Count” button is straightforward and easy to find. Once you click on it, a small box will pop up with various statistics about your document, including the character count.

Step 4: View the character count.

In the pop-up box, look for “Characters (with spaces)” and “Characters (without spaces)” to find out the total number of characters in your document.

This step is where you see the results of your inquiry. The character count is clearly displayed, easy to understand, and you can close the box when you’re done by clicking “OK.”


AccuracyCounting characters manually is prone to errors, but using Word 2013 ensures accuracy in the count.
EfficiencyIt’s much faster than counting each character individually, saving you time for other tasks.
ConvenienceThe character count tool is built into the software, so there’s no need for external tools or websites.

Accuracy is a major benefit of using the character count feature in Word 2013. Trying to tally up characters by hand is tedious and error-prone. Word does it instantly and without mistakes, giving you confidence in the accuracy of your count.

Efficiency is another significant advantage. Imagine trying to count each character in a multi-page document—it would take forever. With Word 2013, it’s a matter of seconds, leaving you more time to focus on the content of your writing.

Convenience is also key. No need to copy and paste your text into an online character count tool or download additional software. It’s all there in Word 2013, ready to use whenever you need it.


Hidden FeatureSome users might not know where to find the character count tool, as it’s not immediately visible.
Overlooked by UsersIf you don’t know the feature exists, you might never take advantage of it.
Limited to WordThis specific method only works in Microsoft Word 2013, not in other text editors or word processors.

The character count tool can be a hidden feature for those not familiar with Word 2013’s Ribbon. It requires a bit of navigation to find, which might deter some users from using it.

Users may also overlook the character count feature entirely. If you’re not aware that Word 2013 has this function, you might resort to less efficient methods of counting characters.

This method is also limited to Microsoft Word 2013. If you use a different word processor or a basic text editor, you won’t have access to this specific character count tool and will need to find an alternative method.

Additional Information

When it comes to counting characters in Microsoft Word 2013, there are a few extra tips and insights to keep in mind. For instance, did you know that spaces are considered characters too? That’s why Word provides counts both with and without spaces—it depends on the requirements you’re working with.

Also, keep in mind that some platforms or submissions might have specific guidelines about character counts. For instance, some might not count spaces or punctuation. Always check the requirements you’re working with before using the Word count as your final metric.

Another tip is to use the Word count function as you write to stay on track. If you have a limit you’re trying to stay under, checking your count periodically can help you manage your writing more effectively. It’s much easier to edit as you go than to have to cut down a large chunk of text at the end.

And remember, the character count tool in Microsoft Word 2013 doesn’t just count characters—it also provides a word count, which is handy for meeting those common word limit requirements. In fact, it gives you a full rundown of your document’s statistics, including pages, paragraphs, and lines, making it an invaluable tool for thorough document analysis.


  1. Open your document in Microsoft Word 2013.
  2. Click on the “Review” tab on the Ribbon.
  3. Click on “Word Count”.
  4. View the character count.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does the character count include spaces?

Yes, the character count in Word 2013 includes spaces. However, Word gives you both counts—with and without spaces, so you can use the information as needed.

Can I see the character count as I type?

Word 2013 doesn’t display the character count dynamically as you type, but you can quickly access the count by following the steps outlined above.

Is there a keyboard shortcut to access the character count?

There isn’t a direct keyboard shortcut to access the character count, but you can press Alt+T+W to open the Word Count box through keyboard navigation.

Can I count characters in a selected portion of text?

Absolutely! Just highlight the text you want to check, and then follow the steps to count characters. Word will provide the count for the selected text only.

Does this character count feature exist in other versions of Word?

Yes, most versions of Microsoft Word have a character count feature, though the steps to access it might differ slightly in each version.


Counting characters in Microsoft Word 2013 is not just about meeting a limit—it’s about crafting your message with precision and clarity. By using the built-in Word Count tool, you ensure that your writing fits the parameters you’re working within, whether it’s a social media post, a job application, or an academic paper.

Always remember that effective communication often requires brevity, and being able to keep track of your character count in Word 2013 is a skill that will help you maintain succinctness in your writing. It’s a simple, yet powerful feature that can make a big difference in your writing projects.

So next time you’re drafting up some important text in Microsoft Word 2013, don’t forget about the character count—it might just be the key to making your words count.

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