Including Text Box Text in Word Counts

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated April 28, 2018)

Word has this nifty tool that counts the number of words in your document for you. The only problem is, it doesn't count all words. For instance, if your document contains text boxes, the word count tool won't include any text in the word boxes in the overall word count for the document. This can be a real problem, particularly if you are using text boxes to implement a special document element, such as sidebars.

There is a way around the problem, however. You can count all the words in the main portion of your document as you normally would, and then write down that number. Then move the insertion point into a text box. If you run the word count tool, Word returns the number of words in that text box. If you select multiple text boxes before running the word count tool, then Word returns the count of all words in all the text boxes you selected. If you are using linked text boxes, then you don't have to select them all, but you do need to move the insertion point into the last text box in the series. When you add together the word count in the main document, plus the word count for any text boxes, you will have the word count for the entire document.

If you use text boxes a lot, the above process can get rather bothersome. If you prefer, you can create a macro that will automate the process for you. The following macro determines the word count in the main document, and adds to it the word count for each text box in the document. The result is a total word count, as described above.

Sub TxtBxCount()
    Dim i As Integer
    Dim TxtWrds As Range
    Dim TxtWrdsStats As Long
    Dim ToTxtWrds As Long
    Dim Lngwords As Long
    Dim ToWords As Long

    Lngwords = ActiveDocument.BuiltInDocumentProperties(wdPropertyWords)
    For s = 1 To ActiveDocument.Shapes.Count
        Set TxtWrds = ActiveDocument.Shapes(s).TextFrame.TextRange
        TxtWrdsStats = TxtWrds.ComputeStatistics(Statistic:=wdStatisticWords)
        ToTxtWrds = ToTxtWrds + TxtWrdsStats
    Next
    ToWords = Lngwords + ToTxtWrds
    MsgBox ("The document has " & Format(ToWords, "##,##0") & " words.")
End Sub

Note:

If you would like to know how to use the macros described on this page (or on any other page on the WordTips sites), I've prepared a special page that includes helpful information. Click here to open that special page in a new browser tab.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (1658) 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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