Word Readability Statistics

Unlock clarity in your writing with Microsoft Word readability statistics. Learn where to find them, understand their meaning, and improve content readability.

It may not be the best tool for the job, but Microsoft Word readability statistics can help you improve your writing. By letting you know the counts, averages, and readability of your content, this handy tool is your first step towards creating clearer, more concise content for your audience.

In this article, we’re going to explore the readability statistics on Microsoft Word. We’ll go over where to find them, what they mean, and give you some extra tips on improving the readability of your writing.

How Do I See Readability Statistics in Word?

Now, if you’ve been searching around on the Word homepage for these statistics and coming up short, then don’t worry - you’re not missing anything. It’s not like they’re out in the open. This is true for both Microsoft 365 users and those using older versions of Office.

For Microsoft 365 Users

  1. Make sure you’re on the “Home” tab of your Word document
  2. Click on the “Editor” button on the top right of the screen
  3. Scroll down to the “Insights” section, and click on “Document stats”
  4. A dialog box will pop up telling you that Word is calculating the stats. Click “OK”
  5. When it’s done, a window will automatically pop up showing you the readability statistics of your document

For Older Versions of Office

  1. Click “File”, then choose “Options”
  2. Click “Proofing”
  3. Under “When correcting spelling and grammar in Word”, make sure there’s a checkmark in the box beside “Check grammar with spelling”
  4. You’ll also need a checkmark beside the “Show Readability Statistics” options
  5. Go back to your document and click “Spelling & Grammar”
  6. After the spelling and grammar check, Word will display your readability statistics

What Do the Word Readability Statistics Mean?

The Word Readability Statistics box divides its results into three categories:

  • Counts: Includes words, characters, paragraphs, and sentences
  • Averages: You’ll see sentences per paragraph, words per sentence, and characters per word
  • Readability: Displays passive sentences, Flesch Reading Ease, and Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level

While counts and averages are pretty straightforward, you may need a little more information to understand the readability section. What do the Flesch Reading Ease and Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level scores mean, anyway?

Flesch Reading Ease Readability Test

Well, for the Flesch Reading Ease test, the higher the score, the better the readability. But this doesn’t mean you should be shooting for a perfect 100 on its 0-100 scale. 

For most standard documents, a score from 60-70 is typically best. You don’t want to oversimplify things for the average audience.

Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level Readability Test

This one is a little easier to interpret. On the Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level test, the score corresponds to a US grade school level. So, if you get a score of 10, the average 10th grader should be able to understand your document.

Now, if you’re mainly writing for adults, then you may think that a score of 10 or even 12 would be appropriate here. But the truth is that the general public doesn’t necessarily read at such a high level, so you’ll need to drop it down a few notches. 

Aim for a score closer to 7-8 on the Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level, and you should be good to go.

How to Improve the Readability of Your Writing

If you find that you’re scoring too low on the Flesch Reading Ease or too high on the Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level, then it’s time to start improving the readability of your content. Here are some of our top tips to help you out:

  • Use short, popular words: Why use the word “ameliorate” when you could just say “improve”? Stick with words that you know your audience will understand. Often, the fewer syllables, the better.
  • Write shorter sentences: Readers may have a hard time following a sentence that’s 30+ words long. So, break down long sentences into smaller ones by only including one word per sentence.
  • Keep adverbs to a minimum: Unless you need them, swap adverb-verb combos for more concise verbs. They not only clutter your writing, but also weaken it.
  • Use a readability checker: While Word’s readability checker is fine, there are much better options out there. Take Originality.AI’s readability checker, for example. In addition to the information you’ll get from Word, this tool will highlight any complex words, long sentences, and adverbs in your content for you. This allows you to easily identify opportunities to improve your scores.

Final Thoughts

It may take a second to find them, but Microsoft Word readability statistics can help you write clearer, more concise content. By looking at your scores and taking steps to improve them, you can create articles, blog posts, and other types of documents that are easy for your audience to read and understand, which is key to creating effective content.

But if you want to take things a step further, you may want to use a separate readability checker instead. Originality.AI’s online tool gives you more readability-related information about your content for a fantastic price - free!

So, what are you waiting for? Start improving the readability of your content today!

Jess Sawyer

Jess Sawyer is a seasoned writer and content marketing expert with a passion for crafting engaging and SEO-optimized content. With several years of experience in the digital marketing, Jess has honed her skills in creating content that not only captivates audiences but also ranks high on search engine results.

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