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How to See Word Count While Typing on Google Docs

Suppose you have a knack for trying out different writing programs like me, one feature you’ll find yourself looking towards often would be a word counter. This same feature is why I’ve always stuck with Microsoft Word, with the program displaying the number of characters and words I’ve input on the screen as I type.

If you’re testing the waters with Google Docs, you might need some help finding some features as they’re lurking somewhere in the toolbar. Thankfully, enabling and using the word count feature is just as easy as you’d find it on other programs.

Read on below to find out how to go about it on your PC.


How to Enable Word Count on Google Docs

You’d never fully grasp the importance of a word count feature if you’ve never used one before. While you can mentally calculate the volume of words you’ve written in a document by glancing through the pages, there’s no better feeling than seeing them in real-time.

With the word count feature, you can work on a section of your document without exceeding its target word count. But when it comes to Google Docs, you get more than just the word count for your document; you also get to see the number of characters you’ve written and the number of pages the characters have taken up.

All this information helps you keep a close tab on your work and, above all, keep it organized. With that being said, follow the steps to enable word count on Google Docs:

  • Open Google Docs on any browser of your choice and open a text-filled document
  • Navigate to the top menu and click Tools > Word Count 


  • In Word Count mini menu, which displays all necessary information about your current document, tick-mark the option Display Word Count While Typing
  • Click OK to enable the change


You should see a small drop-down displaying your word count on the screen’s bottom-left corner. The drop-down only displays your word count by default, but other options are tucked away therein. They are as follows:

  • Pages
  • Words
  • Characters
  • Characters (Excluding Spaces)
  • Hide Word Count


You can use the last option, Hide Word Count, to hide the drop-down if you feel distracted by it. Remember, if you’d fair better without the drop-down in the corner of your screen and prefer checking your word count occasionally, you can untick the Display Word Count While Typing option from earlier. This way, you’ll only be able to see your word count when you go to the Tools > Word Count menu.

How to See Word Count for only a Section of Your Document

At times, all you need to check might turn out to be only the word count of a section of your document. To do this,

  • Highlight the section or paragraph whose word count you’d like to see (Hold and drag your mouse cursor over the texts to do this)
  • Check the drop-down (If enabled) in the bottom-left corner of the screen to see the word count of the highlighted text


  • Alternatively, navigate to and click Tools > Word Count to see all information for only the texts you highlighted


Final Notes

There you have it! You can now view the word count of your document on Google Docs as you type. The only caveat with this feature on Doc that I can think of is, unlike Microsoft Word, you’ll have to re-enable the Display Word Count While Typing option every time you launch a new document or even re-open your current one. 

But I guess that isn’t a deal-breaker for someone who’s spending hours on a single document anyways.

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