Word Count

Word Count

In the writers guidelines distributed by publishers they often request a specific word count for the work you send in to them. If you’re submitting a book the difference between the minimum and maximum maybe 20,000 words and allow a little leeway. However in the case of an article or short story it may be down to only 50 words requiring not only a more exact writing but also exact counting.

Thankfully most word processing software has an option for this kind of counting. Gone are the days of manually counting each word.

To use the Microsoft Word word count option:
  1. Highlight the words to be counted.
  2. Click on the TOOLS drop-down menu at the top of your window.
  3. Select ‘Word count’. In the window that appears you will find a list of statistics about the piece of work you are currently working on, this includes an exact length.
It’s also possible to put the word count icon in the toolbar at the top of your window. A great idea if needing a regular tally of words is necessary.

How to add an icon to your toolbar.
  1. Click on the TOOLS drop down menu.
  2. Click on ‘Customise’.
  3. In the window that appears there are two columns, click on TOOLS in the left one.
  4. In the column on the right, scroll down until you find the ‘Word count’ icon.
  5. Click on it and drag the icon to the top of your MS Word window - next to the other icons on your screen. Make sure that when you lift your finger that the cursor is within the toolbar frame. If you let go whilst you’re outside the toolbar the icon will return to the CUSTOMISE window.
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