check word count in google docs

Whether you are an author preparing a manuscript, a student writing an academic essay, or a blogger writing an article like this one, word count is important. The length of your writing depends on what you are writing about, and how much detail you are supposed to provide.

This article highlights the various ways to see the word count in Google Docs.

1. Check Word Count Via Tools Menu

In Google Docs, click the Tools menu at the top, and then choose Word count.

Alternatively, you can use the following keyboard shortcuts.

On a PC – Ctrl + Shift + C

On a Mac – Command + Shift + C

Open Tools Menu
Open Tools Menu

In the window that appears, you will see information about how many pages, words, and characters there are.

Word count for entire document
Word Count for Entire Document

2. Automatically Display Word Count While Typing

In the Word count window, you may have noticed the option to display word count while typing. If selected, this option is very useful for seeing the word count in real time.

A menu is displayed in the lower left-hand corner, which shows you by default how many words there are. You can click the tiny down arrow to see additional information such as the number of pages.

Display Word Count While Typing
Display Word Count While Typing

3. Check Word Count for Specific Portion of Text

You can highlight specific lines or paragraphs to see the word count. If you already enabled the option to automatically display word count while typing, then the menu in the lower left-hand corner will show you how many words there are in the selected portion of text.

Alternatively, you can highlight a portion of text, and then use the Word count option in the Tools menu. You could also press Ctrl + Shift + C (on a PC) or Command + Shift + C (on a Mac) to display the word count for the highlighted portion of text.

Word Count for Specific Portion of Text
Word Count for Specific Portion of Text


Typically, in professional or academic writing, submission guidelines will state word count requirements. Once you know the appropriate length, it is easy to monitor word count using apps like Google Docs as we have seen in this article.