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: Counting Changed Words.

Counting Changed Words

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated March 24, 2012)

Steven uses Track Changes in his documents all the time. He needs a way to count only the words that have been changed in a document—those affected by Track Changes.

If you are using an older version of Word (prior to Word 2003) there is a way to do this. In the Find box, if you press Ctrl+N, Word will find only "new" words...i.e., Tracked Changes. You could then replace these "words" with themselves (use ^& in the Replace With box) and get a count of the replacements.

If you are using Word 2003, this capability no longer exists because of the changes in how Word tracks and displays changes. In this case, you'll need to use a macro to display the desired information. The following is an example of a macro you could use:

Sub GetTCStats()
    Dim lInsertsWords As Long
    Dim lInsertsChar As Long
    Dim lDeletesWords As Long
    Dim lDeletesChar As Long
    Dim sTemp As String
    Dim oRevision As Revision
    
    lInsertsWords = 0
    lInsertsChar = 0
    lDeletesWords = 0
    lDeletesChar = 0
    For Each oRevision In ActiveDocument.Revisions
        Select Case oRevision.Type
            Case wdRevisionInsert
                lInsertsChar = lInsertsChar + Len(oRevision.Range.Text)
                lInsertsWords = lInsertsWords + oRevision.Range.Words.Count
            Case wdRevisionDelete
                lDeletesChar = lDeletesChar + Len(oRevision.Range.Text)
                lDeletesWords = lDeletesWords + oRevision.Range.Words.Count
        End Select
    Next oRevision

    sTemp = "Insertions" & vbCrLf
    sTemp = sTemp & "    Words: " & lInsertsWords & vbCrLf
    sTemp = sTemp & "    Characters: " & lInsertsChar & vbCrLf
    sTemp = sTemp & "Deletions" & vbCrLf
    sTemp = sTemp & "    Words: " & lDeletesWords & vbCrLf
    sTemp = sTemp & "    Characters: " & lDeletesChar & vbCrLf
    MsgBox sTemp
End Sub

This macro steps through each change in the current document and separately sums word counts and character counts for both insertions and deletions. The statistics are then presented in a message box. Note that the macro looks at the Words collection for each change in the document. You should understand that the word count, as presented here, is an approximation. This is because of the way that words are counted. For instance, each punctuation mark in an addition is counted as a separate word. This means that a phrase such as "as one can see, this is a great way" would be tallied as ten words instead of nine (the comma counts as a separate word). Further, if the phrase you added included a leading space—which insertions often do—then there would be eleven words tallied for the insertion because of that space.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (1095) 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: Counting Changed Words.

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. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Summing Digits in a Value

Want to add up all the digits in a given value? It's a bit trickier than it may at first seem.

Discover More

Turning Off Screen Updating

Want a quick way to speed up your macros? All you need to do is to stop Excel from updating the screen while the macro is ...

Discover More

Protecting Excel Files from Word

Office easily allows you to use Word to open an Excel document. Doing so, however, can quickly result in and unusable ...

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)

Printing without Track Changes Marks

If your document has a lot of markup visible in it, you may want to print a copy of the document that doesn't reflect those ...

Discover More

Using Track Changes

Track Changes is a valuable Word tool that allows you to automatically mark changes in your document. This is a great boon ...

Discover More

Using Different Colors with Tracked Changes

When changes are made in a document with Track Changes turned on, each author's changes are normally shown in a different ...

Discover More
Subscribe

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

View most recent newsletter.

Comments for this tip:

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.

Subscribe

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.

Links and Sharing
Share