Word Count in Microsoft Word

  Gary 11:45 19 Apr 2003

I am preparing a fairly lengthy document in MS Word which must be a certain number of words long. I can use theword count feature to check the number of words in the entire document. However, it contains a large number of quotations and these are excluded from the word count. Consequently, I am having to manually add up the number of words I use in quotes and deduct this from the total number of words Word gives me. Does anyone know if it is possible to flag words in a document so that they are excluded from the wordcount (i.e. mark all the quoted words in such a way the Word ignores them?)

  pj123 11:58 19 Apr 2003

Just a thought. I don't know if this would work but Word doesn't include Footnotes in the word count. Make all quotes footnotes until you have finished the article and then take the footnotes off.

  Gary 12:07 19 Apr 2003

I agree that what you suggest would provide a workaround, but the length of the document would make it very inconvenient. I would have to go through the whole document and reinsert the footnotes into the body of the text once I have written it.

In effect, I kind of rule applied to the word count so that I can set the formatting of the quotes to be different (say, in blue print), and then have the word count feature ignore them. This would be quickly reversible afterwards because I could simply select the entire text and make change the colour back to black.

  Gary 12:14 19 Apr 2003

I've just experimented with the Find and Replace tools in Word and found a solution. Please see details below for anyone else that might want to do this:


1) Make all words that should not be included in the word count different than the rest of the text in some way (e.g. make them blue).

2) Use the find tool and click the "More" button, then the format button and set the formatting to be the same as that used in step one to identify the words as quotes.

3) Don't type anything in the Find box but click on Find All. All the text which is formatted as in step one will be selected. Run the word count feature and this will give you the total number of "blue" words (i.e. quotes). Let this number be X.

4) Deselect the quotes and run the word count feature again to get the total number of words in the document. Let this number be Y.

5) Do Y - X to find the total number of non-quote words.

  Simsy 12:21 19 Apr 2003

that I thought would help, but it doesn't seem to be working. I suspect however I'm doing something wrong and that my method holds the answer....

search and replace...

I assume that your quotes are actually in quote marks? I fthey are, (and nothing else is), you should be able to do a search and replace of everything within quotemarks, using a wildcard between them, replacing with blank. Then do your word count, then undo.

As I say, I couldnt geet the wild card to work in the brief doc I wrote to test it.... but I'm rather distracted at the moment!

good luck,



  Simsy 12:22 19 Apr 2003

That's the second time today that someones put the answer in while I was typing!

Well done.



  Gary 12:28 19 Apr 2003

Having used this method for a couple of minutes after posting the above, I realised a more obvious way of doing it would be to search for the text which is formatted in the standard way (i.e. not as a quote). That way, the first word count value will be the number of non-quote words without the need for any maths!

I think it would be a good feature for a possible later release of word to have a flag tool to mark words so that they are not included in word counts but so that they do not look any different from the rest of the docuemnt. That way, the formatting could be left set all the time and wouldn't have to be turned off prior to printing. Does anyone know where I can post suggestions to Microsoft on the web?

This thread is now locked and can not be replied to.

Elsewhere on IDG sites

Alienware 17 R4 2017 review

Is this the future of VR and AR?

Best iPad buying guide 2017

Comment regarder le Bureau des L├ęgendes en ligne ?