Counting Characters in a Selection with VBA

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated July 9, 2015)


When you are developing macros, it is often helpful to know how many characters are in a text selection. The following VBA macro, CharCount, will display the number of characters in a selection.

Sub CharCount()
    Dim Title As String
    Dim CharCount As Integer
    Dim Message As String

    Title = "CharCount"
    CharCount = Len(Selection)
    Message = LTrim(Str(CharCount)) + " character"
    If CharCount <> 1 Then Message = Message + "s"
    MsgBox Message, vbOKOnly, Title
End Sub

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (746) applies to Microsoft Word 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He  is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...


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What is five less than 8?

2015-04-16 10:08:17


For i = 1 To wordDocument.Paragraphs.Count
' Get the first 20 characters of the paragraph
paragraphText = wordDocument.Paragraphs(i).Range.Text
If Len(paragraphText) > 20 Then
paragraphText = Left(paragraphText, 20)
End If
' qne put it in the next cell down
ActiveCell.Offset(i - 1, 0) = paragraphText
Next i

2015-01-13 03:11:31


how to create online counter?

2014-12-03 14:22:19

Richard Kennedy


Len(Selection.Range) returns 0 when no characters are selected.

When characters are selected Len(Selection.Range) returns the same value as Len(Selection), Selection.Characters.Count and Selection.Range.Characters.Count

2014-12-03 14:13:19

Richard Kennedy

You can also obtain character counts using the ComputeStatistics method of the Range object:

CharCount = Selection.Range.ComputeStatistics(wdStatisticCharactersWithSpaces)

(spaces are included in the count, but not carriage returns)


(spaces are not included in the count, punctuation marks are included)

Len(Selection), Selection.Characters.Count, and
Selection.Range.Characters.Count return Selection.Range.ComputeStatistics(wdStatisticCharactersWithSpaces)
plus carriage return characters.

If no characters are selected, then
Selection.Range.ComputeStatistics(wdStatisticCharactersWithSpaces) = 0 and
Selection.Range.ComputeStatistics(wdStatisticCharacters) = 0, but Len(Selection) = 1, Selection.Characters.Count = 1, and Selection.Range.Characters.Count = 1.

(tested with Word 2013)

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