How Do I Work Out the Character Count in Word?

Word (Microsoft Office) is one of the most widely-used document creators on a PC or laptop. Used for so many purposes, especially creating articles and other content. Sometimes, you need to understand your current word count and character count when creating an article or essay.

Word (Microsoft Office) is one of the most widely-used document creators on a PC or laptop. Used for so many purposes, especially creating articles and other content. Sometimes, you need to understand your current word count and character count when creating an article or essay.

Whether you’re a student with an assignment that contains a strict character limit, a business professional writing legal documents with a limited character count, you're crafting a contact form or you’re testing out your Twitter (X) posts, learning how to calculate character count in Word is pretty useful.

Keeping an Eye on Word Count in Word

Of course, you probably know how to keep an eye on the word count, just by looking at the bottom of your document screen in the left-hand corner just above the status bar. That’s where Word usually displays word count in real time. There’s another way too, by using the Review tab but what about characters? Well, the character count in words is slightly different from word count!

As a quick note, remember that Word is different to Google Docs and in this piece we're discussing Word document count options, specifically focussing on characters.

What Else Can You Track in Word?

While you might think that Word documents only track the number of words, actually there are lots of other lesser-known features as well as additional counts. For example, you could track the number of pages, the number of paragraphs, quantity of lines etc., for part of your document or for your entire document. Plus, Word can tell you the number of characters (with and without spaces too).

In this piece, we’ll give you a variety of methods to help you determine the character count analytics in your essay or other document. Here’s what to do and remember, this isn't for an approximate word count or character count - it gives you the exact character count function you want, in real time.

Steps to Determine Character Count in Word

  • Just want to assess count statistics for a portion of your essay? That’s easy. Simply select the text. If you want to determine character count for your entire piece, you don’t need to highlight it at all.
  • Start at the top of your document, there’s a Title Menu Bar which has a variety of options available. Hit the Review tab.
  • Note the option for Word Count and click it.
  • Note the Word Count dialog box that appears.
  • Now you’ll see count statistics information such as character count, characters with spaces, footnotes, endnotes and text boxes. You can remove these, just clear the checkbox area.
  • Again, if you want to assess a detailed character count in a portion of your article, just select and highlight that area and view the exact count results as mentioned above.

This easy-to-understand YouTube video can help you if you get stuck.

Using a Character Counter Tool

There are lots of online character counters that give you the option of character count with or without spaces but the best one to use has to be Originality AI because of the wealth of features available at just one click of a button.

Simply paste your text into the text box and Originality AI determines word count, character count (with and without spaces) and even tells you if your work is original or if it’s plagiarized. Furthermore, this special online word count tool also tells you if any of your work is AI-generated – it’s genius!

One-Click Character Count in Word

If you find you use character counting a lot then why not add Word Count to the quick access toolbar available on Word? The quick access toolbar is the row of icons situated on the title bar, to the top left hand side.

To add it, go into Word for Windows, locate the Review tab (as before), then right-click on Word Count. You’ll get an option to “Add to Quick Access Toolbar.” Accept this and Voila you have a useful keyboard shortcut!

Once you add it, to calculate word count just click the icon and the answer appears!

Final Words on Finding the Character Count in a Word Document

So there you have it – failsafe methods including online tools to help calculate the character count (with and without spaces) in your document. Use this useful tool for blog posts, news articles, Facebook status, detailed writing, academic papers and any other reason you might need to understand character count without spaces or with spaces. Like everything, it’s easy when you know how!

Jonathan Gillham

Founder / CEO of I have been involved in the SEO and Content Marketing world for over a decade. My career started with a portfolio of content sites, recently I sold 2 content marketing agencies and I am the Co-Founder of, the leading place to buy and sell content websites. Through these experiences I understand what web publishers need when it comes to verifying content is original. I am not For or Against AI content, I think it has a place in everyones content strategy. However, I believe you as the publisher should be the one making the decision on when to use AI content. Our Originality checking tool has been built with serious web publishers in mind!

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