Knowing the character or word count is really important for many purposes especially when you are writing a blog post, legal document, work assignments, or academic papers. There are many instances where you may want to know the number of characters in your writing rather than words such as posting on social media, writing SMS/email, posting a comment, etc.

Since Microsoft Word is the leading word processor, it includes a feature that lets you track the number of words, characters, paragraphs, lines, and pages in your documents. There are several ways you can access the character count in Microsoft Word, and we will explore each of them in this article.

Get Character Count from the Review tab of Microsoft Word

Microsoft has a built-in feature called Word Count which allows you to view the count of not only characters (with or without space) but also pages, words, paragraphs, and lines. Word counts the number of words and characters while you type which can be viewed from the Word Count feature. Follow the below steps to count the number of characters in Word:

First, open the Word document in which you want to count the number of characters. Next, go to the ‘Review’ tab at the ribbon and click the ‘Word Count’ button in the Proofing group.

A Word Count dialog box will appear with the number of characters (including with space or without space). It will also show you the count of Words, Pages, Paragraphs, and Lines present in the current document.

At the bottom of the text, check the ‘Include textboxes, footnotes, and endnotes’ option if you also want the text boxes, footnotes, and endnotes to be included in the count. When you are done, click the ‘Close’ button to close the dialog box.

Get Character Count for Specific Text in Word

If you wish to find the number of characters in a specific sentence, paragraph, page, or section, select only that specific text, then click the ‘Word Count’ button in the Review tab.

And the Word Count box will show you the count for only the selected text.

View Character Count from the Status Bar

Microsoft’s Word count feature automatically counts the words as you type in your document and shows you the count in the status bar. By default, the status bar only shows the Word count, but not the characters. However, you can also enable the character count in the status bar to view the count.

To view character count from the Status bar, right-click on the status bar at the bottom of the window and select the ‘Character Count’ option. If enabled the option will be marked with a tick mark.

Now, you can get the character count as you type in Microsoft Word.

View Character Counter with a Single Click

You can add the Word Count button in the Quick Acces Toolbar and use it to view the number of characters immediately. To add the Word count button to the Quick Access Toolbar, follow these instructions:

Open the Word program, right-click anywhere on the ribbon and select ‘Add to Quick Access Toolbar’.

Alternatively, you can go to the ‘File’ menu, and select ‘Options’.

In the Word Option, switch to ‘Quick Access Toolbar’ and select ‘All Commands’ from the ‘Choose commands from’ drop-down.

Next, scroll down the list of commands and locate the ‘Word Count’ command. Then, select the ‘Word Count’ command and click ‘Add’ in the middle.

After that, click ‘OK’ to save the changes.

Once the Word Count button is added to the Quick Access Toolbar, you can click on it anytime to quickly view the character count.

View the Character Count in Word Online

If you write your documents in Microsoft Word online app, you can also view the word count using a similar method. Here’s how you can do that:

Open a web browser and head to and log in with your Microsoft account credentials to access Microsoft apps. Then, click the ‘Word’ icon on the left side of the screen.

Next, you can either create a new document and start typing or open an existing document in which you want to count the number of characters.

Then, go to the ‘Review’ tab in the menu bar and click the ‘Word Count’ button. Then, select ‘Word Count’ from the menu.

A small Word Count dialog box will appear in the middle with the number of words, characters (including space and no space), and paragraphs. Click ‘OK’ to close the dialog box.

Get Character Count in Word for Mobile

If you prefer to use the Word app on your mobile device, you can also get the character and word count from Microsoft Word mobile app. Follow these steps to view character count in Word for Mobile:

In the Word mobile app, open an existing document or create a new one.

When the document opens, click the ‘Edit’ button (pencil icon) on the top center of your screen. 

Next, tap on the ‘Show Commands’ button (a capital A with a pencil icon) on the top center of your screen.

This will reveal the commands panel in the bottom half of your screen. On the left side of the command panel, click or tap on ‘Home’.

From the pop-up menu, tap ‘Review’ as shown below.

Then, select ‘Word Count’ under the Review menu.

You will then see the numbers of characters, words, and pages in the current document.

Use Online Character/Word Counter Websites

There are numerous websites online that lets you count words, characters, paragraphs, and lines in a document. And there are very easy to use. You can just copy the content from your document and paste it into one of these online tools. Some websites let you upload the word document and count the characters within it.

These are some online word and character counters that you can use: thewordcounter, wordcounter, keywordtool, charactercountonline, etc.

First, open the document in which you want to count characters. Select the entire document by pressing Ctrl+A and then press Ctrl+C to copy the selected content.

Then, head to one of the online counter tools and paste the text inside the text entry field by pressing Ctrl+V. And the website will automatically count the number of characters, and words and show it to you.

Add a Character Count To Your Document

Sometimes, you may be required to insert the number of characters in your document as a field. Follow the below steps to include the character count in your document:

First, open the Word document and click where you want to add the number of characters that are in your document.

After that, go to the ‘Insert’ tab in the ribbon.

In the Insert tab, click on the ‘Quick Parts’ button from the Text section, and select the ‘Field’ option.

This will open up the Field dialog box. In the Field names list, select the ‘NumChars’ option and click on the ‘OK’ button. If you want the number of words instead, select ‘NumWords’ from the Field names list and click ‘OK’.

Now, the total number of characters will appear where you had placed the cursor in the document as shown below. 

That’s it.