How to Find the Word Count for a Story in Three Different Text Editors

It’s nice to know your total word count, but it’s also nice to know how much you’ve written in a day.

Erica Martin
Feb 13 · 3 min read
Photo by Markus Winkler on Unsplash

You know you can find the word count for an entire document you’ve written in any text editor just by going to the appropriate menu or looking at the appropriate place. For example in Google Docs, you go to “Tools” and “Word Count” to find the total word count for the document. But you can also find the word count for part of a story in most text editors. In this article, I’ll explain how to find a partial word count in Google Docs, Microsoft Word, and Medium.

If you’re working on a long project that takes a few days, seeing only a partial word count is useful if you’re tracking your daily word count using a spreadsheet, or websites like Write Track or Nanowrimo’s tracker. Of course, if you’re working on a long project this means you have to make a note of where you left off, so you know where to start counting your words the next time you work on the project.

  1. Highlight the section of text you want to find the word count for.
  2. Go to “Tools” and “Word Count. You’ll see the word count for your selection:

Microsoft Word is even simpler. In Microsoft Word, all you have to do is look at the bottom taskbar to see the word count:

That’s the word count for everything I had typed.

And here’s the word count for just part of what I had typed:

Medium’s process is slightly different. You can find the number of words you selected by looking at upper left corner of the page, by the Medium logo. Check out this example:

This is easy. Most word processing apps give you the option to add notes. Just add a note using the appropriate process.

  1. Highlight part of the last sentence you typed.
  2. Click your secondary mouse button.
  3. Choose “Comment.”
  1. Highlight part of the last sentence you typed.
  2. A new menu pops up that has “Comment” as one of the choices.
  3. Click “Comment” and type your comment.
  1. Highlight part of the last sentence you typed.
  2. Click your secondary mouse button.
  3. Click on the private note icon — the conversation bubble with a lock in it. Type a note that says something like “ended here 2/12/21”

That’s how to find the word count for part of a story in three different writing apps, and how to note where you finished so you can start there the next time. Tracking your word count can help keep you motivated to achieve your writing goals. Once these processes become second nature to you, you’ll be writing words and tracking your word counts like a pro.

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Erica Martin

Written by

Teacher at heart with a special interest in law, fitness, health, and writing. An all-around nerd who likes to experiment with new things.

Writers’ Blokke

The publication for writers and readers to create and read amazing content

Erica Martin

Written by

Teacher at heart with a special interest in law, fitness, health, and writing. An all-around nerd who likes to experiment with new things.

Writers’ Blokke

The publication for writers and readers to create and read amazing content

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