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How can I automatically insert the word count into my Word document?

To insert a word count into a Word 2016 document, place the cursor where you would like the word count to appear (say in the Header or Footer) and then:

  • click the Insert tab
  • click the Quick Parts icon (towards the right hand end of the toolbar)

Quick Parts menu

  • on the drop down that appears, select Field...
  • This will open the Field window:

Field window

  • In the list in the left hand pane, scroll down and click on the field name NumWords
  • click on OK

This will insert a "field" in your document which automatically displays the number of words:

Word count field

If you subsequently change the number of words, right-click on the field and select the option Update field:

Update field

The number will change to reflect the new word count of the document.


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This is question number 2595, which appears in the following categories:

Created by Chris Limb on 11 October 2013 and last updated by Adrian Chorlton on 1 August 2016