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 a Particular Word.

Counting a Particular Word

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated May 19, 2018)

3

There are times that I need to know how often I've used a particular word in a document, or even in a part of a document. The Word Count tool doesn't allow you to limit a count to a specific word, but there is a neat little workaround you can do.

  1. If you want to count only in a particular area of your document, select the text you want included in the count. (You can select multiple, non-contiguous areas of text by holding down the Ctrl key as you make your selections with the mouse.)
  2. Press Ctrl+H, or choose Replace from the Edit menu. Word displays the Replace tab of the Find and Replace dialog box. (See Figure 1.)
  3. Figure 1. The Replace tab of the Find and Replace dialog box.

  4. In the Find What box, enter the word you want to count.
  5. In the Replace With box, enter the same word.
  6. Click Replace All.

Word replaces all occurrences of the word with itself, so there really are no changes done to your document. However, a dialog box appears that indicates how many changes were performed; this is your word count.

If you are skittish about doing find and replace operations, make sure you save your document before using this workaround.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (3870) 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 a Particular Word.

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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What is one less than 4?

2020-11-05 09:33:50

CC Hogan

A much better way is simply to open the navigation pane then type the word into the search box at the top. Voila! It will tell you how many it found.


2018-07-21 17:07:38

Jeanie C.

Thank you so much! This tip just saved me hours of work! I knew there had to be an easy way to do it.


2018-06-19 17:57:27

Leah Abney

Another option would be to highlight the word or phrase, click Ctrl+F, and in the left sidebar you'll see the total count plus a snippet of each sentence in which the word or phrase was used.


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