Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 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: Word Count in Multiple Selections.

Word Count in Multiple Selections

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated May 4, 2013)

Do you need to count words in different, non-contiguous blocks of text? For instance, do you need to count the words in the body areas of a document, but not in the headings? If you are using Word 2002 or Word 2003 you can follow these steps:

  1. Select the first block of text you need included in the word count.
  2. Hold down the Ctrl key as you use the mouse to select the second and any additional blocks of text.
  3. Choose Word Count from the Tools.

That's it; the count returned represents all the words in the selected text—even though the text blocks are not contiguous.

When using an older version of Word (such as Word 97 or Word 2000), you cannot select non-contiguous blocks of text. In that case, it is best to select what you want counted, copy it to a new document, and then do the word count on what you copied. You can then throw away the new document, as you no longer need it.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (3876) applies to Microsoft Word 2002 and 2003. You can find a version of this tip for the ribbon interface of Word (Word 2007 and later) here: Word Count in Multiple Selections.

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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