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: A Quick-and-Dirty Word Count.

A Quick-and-Dirty Word Count

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated September 3, 2016)

In other issues of WordTips you learn how you can use one of Word's fields to insert a word count in your document. Many authors, editors, and publishers adhere to the rule that you determine word count by dividing the number of characters in your document by an average word size, such as 5. Thus, if there were 24,317 characters in your document, there would be 4,863 words. You can use fields to insert this type of word count in your document in the following manner:

  1. Position the insertion point where you want the word count placed.
  2. Press Ctrl+F9 to insert a set of field braces. Make sure the insertion point remains between the braces.
  3. Press the equal sign (=).
  4. Press Ctrl+F9 to insert another set of field braces. Make sure the insertion point remains between the new braces.
  5. Type numchars.
  6. Press the right arrow twice. The insertion point should be between the two right braces.
  7. Type /5 (divided by 5). Your compound field should now look like this:
  8.      { ={ numchars }/5 }
    
  9. Press F9 to update the field.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (1111) 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: A Quick-and-Dirty Word Count.

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

First and Last Names in a Page Header

When you have a worksheet that includes a long list of names, you may want the first and last names on each page to appear in ...

Discover More

Noting the Workbook Creation Date

You may want to add, to your worksheet, the date on which a particular workbook was created. Excel doesn't provide a way to ...

Discover More

Creating Default Formatting for Workbooks and Worksheets

Not satisfied with the way that default workbooks and worksheets look in Excel? You can easily create your own defaults for ...

Discover More

Learning Made Easy! Quickly teach yourself how to format, publish, and share your content using Word 2013. With Step by Step, you set the pace, building and practicing the skills you need, just when you need them! Check out Microsoft Word 2013 Step by Step today!

MORE WORDTIPS (MENU)

Inserting the User's Address

If you enter your address into Word, you can insert that address anywhere you want in a document by using a single field. ...

Discover More

Displaying Blanks when Summing to Zero

If you use fields to sum the information in your table columns, you might want to display a blank when the sum is zero. The ...

Discover More

Locating Locked Fields

A field can be locked or unlocked, and its condition controls whether it is updated automatically or not. If you want to ...

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:

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. 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 9 - 7?

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
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