Home / Tech / How to check the word count of any document on Google Docs, and keep the word count on your screen as you type

How to check the word count of any document on Google Docs, and keep the word count on your screen as you type

Google Docs on computer

  • A built-in tool makes it easy to check the word count on Google Docs, in any document.
  • Google Docs’ word count tool can be used on both the website, as well as in the mobile app for iPhone and Android.
  • You can access the word count via the Tools menu, or with a keyboard shortcut on desktop.
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Whether you’re working on a college essay, typing a work report, or working on a novel, it’s helpful to know how exactly how many words you’re putting to virtual paper. Maybe you have to fit a word limit, or you’re challenging yourself to write a certain amount of words per day. 

Whatever the reason, Google Docs’ word count feature is a great way to do this. It doesn’t matter if you’re using Google Docs on your desktop or laptop, or writing on the go via the mobile app — the word count feature can be accessed on both computers and mobile devices.

The word count feature won’t just tell you how many words you’ve written, but how many pages your document takes up, and how many characters you’ve penned. Here’s how to use it. 

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How to check the word count on Google Docs on desktop

1. Ensure you’re logged into your Google account, and then go to https://docs.google.com.

2. Open the document you want to work on, or open a new Google Doc and begin typing. 

3. When you want to check how many words you’ve written, access the word count feature by clicking on the “Tools” option in the menu bar. 

word count

4. Click on “Word Count” to launch a pop-up with your word, character, and page count. 

5. When finished, click “OK” or “Cancel” to dismiss this box. You can also check the box that reads “Display word count while typing.” This will keep a small word count reader at the bottom of your screen at all times. You can click it to change what stat it shows, or to dismiss it.

word count 2

How to check the word count on Google Docs on mobile

1. On your phone’s home screen, tap the Google Docs app icon to open it. 

2. Tap on the document you want to open, or press the “+” button at the bottom of the screen to create a new document, and begin typing. 

3. To check the word count, tap on the three horizontal lines or three dots in the upper right-hand corner of your screen to open a menu.

4. In the list of options, tap on “Word count.” The word and character count will then appear on the right side of your screen. 


5. To exit the word count screen, tap anywhere on the doc outside of the word count box. 

Related coverage from How To Do Everything: Tech:

  • How to change the owner of a Google Doc by adjusting its sharing settings on your computer

  • How to search for a word or phrase in Google Docs on your computer or mobile device

  • How to edit Google Docs files offline, for when you’re without internet or trying to eliminate online distractions

  • How to ‘unshare’ a Google Doc to make it private after you’ve already shared it with others

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