Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. If you are using a later version (Word 2007 or later), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for later versions of Word, click here: Determining the Number of Paragraphs in a Document.

Determining the Number of Paragraphs in a Document

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated January 31, 2015)

Macros are often used for processing an entire document. It is not unusual to have a macro step through all the paragraphs in a document and make changes based on the information in the paragraph. If you need to step through all the paragraphs in a document, it is helpful to find out how many paragraphs there are. The way you do that in a VBA macro is through the use of the Count property with the Paragraphs collection, as follows:
iParCount = ActiveDocument.Paragraphs.Count
The Paragraphs collection contains all of the paragraphs in the document, each in its own object. The Count property simply returns a value indicating how many objects (paragraphs) are in the collection. In the above example, this value is assigned to the iParCount variable. You can then use this count in doing any processing you need to. Remember, as well, that paragraphs can be "empty" in Word. If someone types some information and then presses the Enter key twice, they have just created an empty paragraph with that second press of Enter. This increases the paragraph count, so it is a good idea to display non-printing characters in a document if you are trying to figure out how VBA derived the paragraph count that it did. The rule is that each press of Enter results in a new document paragraph.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (828) applies to Microsoft Word 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. You can find a version of this tip for the ribbon interface of Word (Word 2007 and later) here: Determining the Number of Paragraphs in a Document.

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. ...


Removing Conditional Formats, but Not the Effects

Conditional formatting is very powerful, but at some point you may want to make the formatting "unconditional." In other ...

Discover More

Implementing a Dynamic Document Control Table

Accurately and repeatedly referencing information within a document is a common task that needs to be done. One way to ...

Discover More

Turning Off Worksheet Tabs

Look at the bottom of a worksheet and chances are you will see tabs for all the worksheets in the current workbook. Want ...

Discover More

Comprehensive VBA Guide Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) is the language used for writing macros in all Office programs. This complete guide shows both professionals and novices how to master VBA in order to customize the entire Office suite for their needs. Check out Mastering VBA for Office 2010 today!

More WordTips (menu)

Determining if Num Lock is On

Need to know if the Num Lock key is on or off? You can use a short bit of macro code to figure out the state of the key.

Discover More

Ignoring Smart Quotes when Comparing Text

When comparing two pieces of text, you may find that Word's smart quotes can mess up the comparison. Here's a quick way ...

Discover More

Jumping to the Top of a Page

Do you want to easily jump to the top of a page in your document? You can use the Go To command to make the shift, or you ...

Discover More

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.


If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is 4 + 4?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)

This Site

Got a version of Word that uses the menu interface (Word 97, Word 2000, Word 2002, or Word 2003)? This site is for you! If you use a later version of Word, visit our WordTips site focusing on the ribbon interface.

Newest Tips

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.