How to do Word Count on Google Docs: A Complete Guide

Word count is an essential aspect of any writing project, whether it’s a school essay, a blog post, or even a novel. In today’s digital age, where SEO has become crucial for online visibility, keeping track of your content’s word count has become more important than ever. However, manually counting the number of words in your document can be a tedious and time-consuming process. That’s where Google Docs comes in handy. Google Docs is a free and widely-used web-based word processing platform that allows you to write, edit, and collaborate with others in real-time. It also has a built-in word counter tool that makes tracking your content’s word count a breeze. In this article, we’ll show you how to use the word count feature on Google Docs and provide tips for accurate counting so that you can focus on creating high-quality content without worrying about the technicalities.


Google Docs is a widely used online word processor that offers a plethora of features to make writing and collaboration easier for users. One such feature is the ability to check the word count of your document, which can be incredibly useful when you’re working on a project with specific word count requirements. While it may seem like a simple task, there are tips and tricks that can help you get the most accurate results possible.

In this article, we will explore how to do a word count on Google Docs, the importance of knowing your word count, and some tips for ensuring accuracy. By the end of this guide, you’ll be well-equipped to check your word count like a pro and produce high-quality written content that meets your goals, whether they be academic, professional, or personal. So let’s dive in and learn how to make the most of this handy Google Docs feature!

Why is Word Count Important?

For Achieving Writing Goals

For Achieving Writing Goals

One of the key aspects of writing is setting goals. Without clear targets, it can be difficult to know if you are making progress or if your efforts are paying off. Word count targets are a great way to set achievable goals and stay motivated.

Writing goals can vary depending on the type of content you are creating. For example, if you are working on a novel, your goal might be to write a certain number of words each day or week. On the other hand, if you are creating marketing content for a website, your goal might be to produce a certain amount of content each month.

Word count targets can help you achieve these goals by breaking down your work into manageable pieces. By setting a target for the number of words you want to write each day or week, you can ensure that you are making steady progress toward your goal.

In addition to helping you stay on track, word count targets can also provide a sense of accomplishment. When you reach a target, you can celebrate your achievement and feel motivated to continue.

Of course, setting goals is only the first step. To truly achieve your writing goals, you need to put in the work. This means setting aside time each day or week to write, staying focused, and not getting discouraged when things get tough.

Overall, setting word count targets is a powerful tool for achieving your writing goals. By breaking down your work into manageable pieces and tracking your progress, you can stay motivated and make steady progress toward your ultimate goal.

For Better SEO Ranking

For Better SEO Ranking

When it comes to search engine optimization (SEO), many factors contribute to a website’s ranking on search engine result pages (SERPs). One of the most crucial factors is content length. The length of your content can impact your SEO ranking in various ways, and understanding how this works can help you optimize your content and improve your website’s ranking.

Search engines like Google prioritize websites that offer value to users through their content. Longer content often provides more value as it allows for more comprehensive information on a topic. Additionally, longer content tends to rank higher on SERPs than shorter content. According to studies, the average content length of top-ranking results on Google is over 1,800 words. Therefore, if you want to rank higher on SERPs, it’s essential to create high-quality, long-form content.

However, it’s important to note that simply increasing the word count of your content won’t guarantee better SEO ranking. Search engines also take into account the quality of your content. The content must be engaging, relevant, and informative to the reader. If your content is long but lacks substance or readability, your SEO ranking could suffer.

Another important factor to consider is user intent. The content should align with the user’s search query and provide solutions to their problems. If your content satisfies the user’s needs, they are likely to spend more time on your website, which can improve your bounce rate and ultimately, your SEO ranking.

In conclusion, content length plays a significant role in improving your SEO ranking, but it’s not the only factor to consider. Creating long-form content that offers value to the user and aligns with their search intent can improve your website’s ranking on search engine result pages.

Steps to Check Word Count on Google Docs

Step 1: Open the Document

To check the word count of a document on Google Docs, the first step is to open the document. This is an easy and straightforward process that can be completed in just a few clicks.

To get started, log in to your Google Drive account and locate the document you want to check. If you’ve already opened the document before, it should appear on your main Drive dashboard. If not, simply navigate to the folder where the document is saved or use the search function to find it.

Once you’ve located the document, click on it to open it. This should take you to the editing screen for the document, which will display all of the content that has been added so far. Here, you can review the text, make any necessary changes, and ultimately check the word count.

It’s important to note that you must have editing permissions for the document in order to check the word count. If you don’t have editing access, you may need to request permission from the document owner or administrator before proceeding.

Overall, opening a document on Google Docs is a simple and essential step in the process of checking its word count. By following these instructions, you can quickly access the document and begin reviewing its contents to ensure that you’re meeting your writing goals and optimizing for SEO ranking.

Step 2: Click on the ‘Tools’ Tab

To check the word count of your Google Docs document, you need to click on the ‘Tools’ tab. This step is crucial as it will open up a menu with various options, including the ‘Word count’ feature.

Once you have your document open and ready, look towards the top of your screen for the ‘Tools’ tab. Clicking on this will reveal a drop-down menu with numerous features that are designed to help you get the most out of your document.

When you click on the ‘Tools’ tab, you’ll see a list of options that includes spelling and grammar checks, translation tools, add-ons, and more. However, in this case, our focus is on word count, so we want to select ‘Word count’ from the list.

After clicking on the ‘Word count’ option, a small window will pop up, displaying the total number of words in your document. This is an accurate and straightforward way to find out how many words are in your document, which can be used to set goals, track progress, or optimize your content for SEO purposes.

In conclusion, clicking on the ‘Tools’ tab is an essential step in checking the word count of your Google Docs document. By following these simple steps, you’ll be able to quickly and accurately determine the number of words in your document, making it easier to achieve your writing goals or improve your SEO ranking.

Step 3: View the Word Count

Step 3: View the Word Count

Once you have opened your document and clicked on the “Tools” tab, it’s time to view the word count. This simple step can make all the difference in helping you reach your writing goals and improve your SEO ranking.

To view the word count, simply select the “Word count” option from the drop-down menu that appears when you click on the “Tools” tab. You will then see a pop-up window that displays the total number of words in your document.

But don’t stop there! The “Word count” pop-up window also provides other valuable information, such as the number of pages, characters (with and without spaces), and paragraphs in your document. This knowledge can help you better understand the structure and readability of your content.

For example, if you have a high number of words but only a few paragraphs, your content may be difficult to read and understand. On the other hand, if you have a low word count and many short paragraphs, your content may lack depth and detail.

By viewing the word count, you can fine-tune your writing and ensure that your content is both engaging and informative. So next time you’re working on a Google Docs document, take a moment to view the word count and use this valuable information to strengthen your writing.

Tips for Accurate Word Counting

Tip 1: Exclude Headers and Footers

When you’re trying to determine the word count of a document, it’s important to exclude any text that isn’t part of the main content. Headers and footers are two examples of elements that can add unnecessary words to your count. Fortunately, excluding them is easy in Google Docs.

To exclude headers and footers from your word count on Google Docs, start by clicking on the “Tools” tab in the menu bar. From there, select “Word Count”. A pop-up window will appear with the total number of words in your document.

If you have headers and/or footers in your document, the word count may include these sections as well. To exclude them, make sure the “Include headers and footers” option is unchecked. You can find this option at the bottom of the Word Count pop-up window.

By excluding headers and footers from your word count, you’ll get a more accurate picture of how many words are in your main content. This can be especially important for writers who are working towards specific writing goals or trying to meet certain word count requirements.

In some cases, headers and footers may contain important information that you don’t want to exclude from your overall word count. If this is the case, you can manually remove the text from your word count by selecting it and pressing “Delete”.

Overall, excluding headers and footers from your word count on Google Docs is a simple yet effective way to ensure accuracy in your writing. By taking the time to check your word count properly, you’ll have a better understanding of your progress and can make adjustments as needed.

Tip 2: Check for Hidden Text

One common issue that may affect the accuracy of your word count on Google Docs is hidden text. Hidden text can be pesky, as it’s not visible to the naked eye and can easily go unnoticed. However, this can contribute to an incorrect word count, which can compromise the quality of your content. In this section, we’ll discuss why hidden text affects word count and provide some tips for detecting these elusive elements.

What is Hidden Text?

Hidden text is any text that is present in a document but not visible on the screen. This could be due to several reasons, such as using white text on a white background, inserting text behind an image or shape, or hiding the text with formatting options. It’s important to note that hidden text still contributes to the overall word count, even if it’s not visible.

Why Does Hidden Text Affect Word Count?

Hidden text can affect your word count by adding unnecessary words to your document, which can inflate the total word count. For example, let’s say you accidentally copied and pasted a paragraph from another source that has hidden text. When you paste it into your document, the hidden text will also be added, which means your word count will be higher than what you intended. Additionally, hidden text may also include notes, comments, or revisions that are not meant to be part of the final draft, further skewing your word count.

Tips for Detecting Hidden Text

To ensure an accurate word count on Google Docs, it’s essential to check for hidden text. Here are some helpful tips:

  • Use the “View” menu: Click on the “View” menu in Google Docs and select “Show” to display various elements, such as rulers, margins, and hidden characters. This will reveal any hidden text in your document.

  • Select All: Press “Ctrl + A” or “Command + A” to select all the text in your document. This will highlight any hidden text in a light gray color, making it easier to spot.

  • Use the Find and Replace feature: Use the “Find and Replace” feature (Ctrl + H) to search for specific words or phrases that may be hidden in your document. Once you locate the hidden text, you can delete or replace it as needed.

  • Review formatting options: Check your formatting options to ensure that no text is hidden behind images or shapes. You can do this by selecting an image or shape and then clicking on “Format options” to view the settings.

In conclusion, hidden text can affect the accuracy of word count on Google Docs, but with these tips, you can easily detect and remove any hidden elements to ensure a more precise count. By taking the time to check for hidden text, you’ll have a better understanding of the true length of your document and can make any necessary adjustments accordingly.

Tip 3: Be Consistent with Formatting

Consistency is key when it comes to formatting your document. Not only does it make your document look more professional, but it also helps with accurate word count.

When formatting your document, make sure you use the same font type, size, and style throughout. This includes headings, subheadings, and body text. If you want to emphasize certain words or phrases, use bold or italic formatting consistently.

It’s also important to be consistent with spacing. Make sure there’s a consistent amount of space between paragraphs, bullet points, and numbered lists. This not only makes your document look cleaner but also makes it easier for readers to follow along.

Using consistent formatting can help ensure that your word count is accurate. When formatting is inconsistent, you may end up with more or fewer words than intended, which can affect your writing goals or SEO ranking.

For example, if you’re aiming to write a 500-word blog post, inconsistent formatting could result in the post being too long or too short. This could lead to missed opportunities for engagement or even penalties from search engines.

In conclusion, consistency in formatting is essential for accurate word count. By using the same font, spacing, and style throughout your document, you can ensure that your writing goals are met, and your content ranks well on search engine results pages.

Tip 4: Review and Edit the Content

Tip 4: Review and Edit the Content

Once you have checked the word count, it’s important to review and edit the content. This process will not only help you to ensure that your document is error-free but also make it more coherent and engaging for your audience.

Step 1: Review the Content

The first step in the editing process is to review the content. You should read through the entire document, paying close attention to the following:

  • Grammar and syntax errors
  • Typos and spelling mistakes
  • Awkward or unclear phrasing
  • Repetitive language
  • Inconsistencies in tone or style

By reviewing the content, you can identify areas that need improvement and make changes accordingly.

Step 2: Edit the Content

Once you have reviewed the content, it’s time to start editing. This involves making changes to improve the readability and flow of the document. Some tips for effective editing include:

  • Eliminating unnecessary words or phrases
  • Rearranging sentences to improve clarity
  • Replacing passive voice with active voice
  • Varying sentence length and structure
  • Adding transitional phrases to connect ideas

Remember that editing is an iterative process. You may need to go through multiple rounds of editing to achieve the desired results.

Examples of Effective Editing

To illustrate the importance of reviewing and editing, consider the following examples:

Example 1:
Before editing: “Our company has a wide range of products available. We offer everything from electronics to furniture, all at affordable prices.”

After editing: “At our company, you’ll find a diverse selection of high-quality products at budget-friendly prices. Whether you’re looking for electronics or furniture, we’ve got you covered.”

In this example, the edited version is more engaging and persuasive, using descriptive language and highlighting the company’s benefits.

Example 2:
Before editing: “I am writing to inform you that your application has been received.”

After editing: “Thank you for your application. We have received it and will begin processing it shortly.”

In this example, the edited version is more concise and professional, conveying the same message in a clearer and more efficient way.


Reviewing and editing your content is essential for creating high-quality documents that resonate with your audience. By following these tips and taking the time to refine your work, you can ensure that your content stands out and achieves your intended goals.


In conclusion, checking the word count on Google Docs is a simple yet essential task that can help you achieve your writing goals and improve your SEO ranking. With just a few clicks, you can get an accurate count of the words in your document, which will allow you to track your progress and stay on target.

Remember to follow the tips for accurate counting, such as excluding headers and footers, checking for hidden text, being consistent with formatting, and reviewing and editing your content. By doing so, you can ensure that your word count reflects the actual number of words in your document, without any inaccuracies or discrepancies.

Whether you’re a student working on an essay, a blogger creating content, or a professional writer crafting a report or proposal, knowing how to check word count on Google Docs is a valuable skill that can save you time and enhance your productivity.

So, next time you’re working on a document in Google Docs, don’t forget to check the word count and use it to your advantage. It may seem like a small detail, but it can make a big difference in the quality and effectiveness of your writing.
As we conclude, mastering how to do word count on Google Docs is an essential skill for every writer. Accurate word count helps you achieve your writing goals while also contributing to better SEO ranking. It’s a simple process that only requires a few clicks. But to get the most out of it, ensure to follow the tips mentioned in this guide. With accurate word count, you can improve the quality of your content, meet deadlines and ultimately increase your chances of success as a writer. So what are you waiting for? Get started today and take your writing game to the next level!

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