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: Inserting the Total Number of Characters in Your Document.

Inserting the Total Number of Characters in Your Document

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated February 6, 2018)

Word keeps track of summary information for a document. You can see the information maintained by Word simply by choosing Properties from the File menu. One of the pieces of information maintained is the number of characters in the document. This information is updated whenever the document is saved or printed. You can insert this summary information into your document by following these steps:

  1. Position the insertion point where you want the number of characters to appear.
  2. Choose Field from the Insert menu. Word displays the Field dialog box.
  3. Choose Document Information as the field category. Word updates the choices in the Field Names list. (See Figure 1.)
  4. Figure 1. The Field dialog box.

  5. Select NumChars from the Field Names list.
  6. Click on OK to close the dialog box and insert the field.

You should note that the NumChars field returns a different value than what is returned by the FileSize field. The file size is invariably larger, as it includes space consumed by formatting and housekeeping information maintained by Word, whereas NumChars returns only a count of the text characters in your document.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (1810) 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: Inserting the Total Number of Characters in Your 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. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Starting with a Different Template

Don't want Word to start by using the Normal.dot template? This tip explains how to start using a different template.

Discover More

Removing Borders

Need to get rid of the borders around a cell? The shortcut in this tip can make quick work of this formatting task.

Discover More

Sharing Headings with Others

Headings form the outline of your document and hopefully give it an easy-to-follow organization. If you want to share ...

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)

Using the GotoButton Field

Need to jump from one place in your document to another? One way to do this is through the user of the GotoButton field, ...

Discover More

Inserting the Date and Time

Inserting a date and time in your document is a snap using the tools provided in Word. Just pick the command, then ...

Discover More

Deleting All Fields

Fields can be a great way of adding small snippets of dynamic data to your documents. However, you may want to get rid of ...

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

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 nine more than 0?

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.