Google Docs is an online word processing software developed by Google with similar features to those of popular word processors such as Microsoft Word. One of the most useful tips you can learn while creating documents is how to check word count on Google Docs. The tool lets you check the number of words, characters, and characters without spaces in your document.
There are wide-ranging reasons why you need to learn how to check word count on Google Docs. These include editorial requirements, social media character restrictions, and personal targets. Whatever the reason could be, this step by step guide will help you make use of the tool. Learn how you can quickly check whether your document is of appropriate length.
Why do you need word count on Google Docs?
Here are some of the most common reasons why you might need to check the character/word count in a document:
- If you have an unformatted document, Google Docs can let you figure out how close you are to achieving the required document length.
- If your text has to adhere to specific editorial word count standards. For example, you might be required to submit a five hundred word blog post.
- If you are applying for a job post where the procedure stipulates a specific length of the application letter.
- If you have a personal daily writing target based on a given number of words. Authors such as Hemmingway, Kingsolver, and Stephen King all had such daily targets.
- If you are writing a piece to post on social media platforms that have character limits such as Twitter.
Google has a mobile version of Google Docs which comes in handy for editing documents on the go. While it may not be as powerful as the desktop version, it contains all the essential features you will need to create and edit short documents with ease. With all these reasons in mind, the big question is, can you do a word count in Google Docs?
How to check word count on Google Docs
You can check a document’s word count in Google Docs on different platforms. These include Windows PC, Mac, tablets, or smartphones. Depending on the device you are using, there are various ways to do this.
How to see the word count on Google Docs using a PC
When checking the Google Docs word count on a desktop or laptop, you will need to ensure that your document is in edit mode. If you are not sure that it is, click on the toolbar to access a drop-down menu. You will see whether you are in viewing, suggesting, or editing mode. You should keep in mind that you can only edit documents which you own or have permission to edit.
To see the word count in Google Docs:
- Click on the Tools tab on the top of the page
- Select Word Count from the drop-down menu
- PC users can also use the Ctrl+Shift+C keyboard shortcut to access the word count tool
- Mac users can use Command+Shift+C to access the menu
Viewing Google Doc word count on a mobile device
The mobile version of Google Docs has fewer features compared to the desktop version. However, it is still a fully capable application, especially for use with short documents. How do you check word count on Google Docs app?
- Open the Docs app on your device
- Open the document you want to check
- Select the Menu button on the top right corner of the screen
- Select Word count
You will be able to see the number of characters, words, and characters without spaces in your document. One notable difference between the mobile and desktop version is the page count. You will not be able to view this on the mobile application.
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How to count words in Google Docs on selected text
You can use the word count tool to find out the number of characters or words in a selected portion of a document. To do this, follow the steps below:
- Highlight the part of the text you want to get a word count for. You can do this using the mouse, trackpad, or a combination of the Shift and direction keys. The highlighted text should appear in a shaded box if you did it correctly.
- Select the Tools tab on the menu at the top of the page
- From the drop-down menu, select Word Count
The tool will present you with the following information:
- The page in which the selected text can be found. For example, 1 of 1 means that the text is on the first page of a one-page document.
- The number of words in the selected portion out of the total number in the entire document. For example, 79 out of 179 means that the highlighted part contains seventy-nine words out of one hundred and seventy-nine words contained in the document.
- The number of characters in the highlighted text out of the total document character count. In our example, 453 out of 1013 means that the highlighted text contains 453 characters out of the entire document character count of 1013.
- The number of characters (excluding spaces) in the highlighted text out of the total document character count (excluding spaces). The highlighted section has 375 characters without spaces out of a total of 836 characters, excluding spaces.
Once you are done with the tool, click on the X symbol on the top right corner or click on the close tab below the dialogue box.
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Does Google Doc word count include footnotes?
When learning how to find word count on Google Docs, it is essential to keep in mind that the tool does not apply for all characters. For example, the tool will not count footnotes, footers, and headers. Characters such as “<” and “>” are also not counted as words. Em dashes, on the other hand, will be counted as words. The tool also treats hyperlinks differently and may give a lesser word count for a hyperlink than the actual number of words in the link.
Is Google Docs word count accurate?
Google Docs will often show a different word count from other word processors. However, this is primarily due to the differences in counting algorithms. The way each program handles spaces, word contractions, and special characters cause the variations in the word count. Some writing aids suggest that one should stick to Microsoft Word’s algorithm for counting words since it seems to be the most accurate.
This guide describes easy steps on how to check word count on Google Docs to ensure that your document is of appropriate length. The versatility of the program allows it to work across various computer and mobile device platforms conveniently. Which method sounded most suitable for your everyday needs?
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