Google Docs is a free online word processor that makes it easy to create, edit and collaborate on documents. When writing essays, reports or other documents in Google Docs, you’ll likely need to know the page count and word count. Here is a simple walkthrough on finding this information.
Check the Word Count
The quickest way to see the word count is to use the keyboard shortcuts:
- Windows: Ctrl + Shift + C
- Mac: Command + Shift + C
This will open up a popup with the word count details:
Word count popup in Google Docs
The popup shows:
- Pages: Total number of pages in the document
- Words: Total number of words
- Characters: Total number of characters (including spaces)
- Characters excluding spaces
You can check the word count for just a portion of text too. Simply highlight the section you want to check before using the keyboard shortcuts above.
Display Word Count While Typing
You can also enable an on-screen live word counter that keeps track of your word count as you type.
To turn this on:
- Click Tools in the Google Docs menu
- Select Word count
- Check the box for Display word count while typing
This will show a small counter in the bottom left corner of the document. It will update automatically as you write to reflect the current number of words.
Live word count display in Google Docs
Having the live word counter helps when writing to a specific word count. You’ll know exactly where you stand without having to stop and constantly check the full count.
See Total Page Count
In addition to word count, the popup also shows the total page count when you use the keyboard shortcuts.
You can also see what page you’re currently on by looking at the scrollbar. Hover over the scrollbar and a tooltip will indicate the page number:
Page number tooltip in Google Docs scrollbar
When viewing the document in Print Layout view on mobile, the page number is shown at the bottom as you scroll through the pages vertically.
Why Page and Word Counts Matter
Knowing the page count and word counts is useful for:
- Meeting essay requirements: If a school essay has a strict 750-1000 word count requirement, you can ensure you meet the parameters.
- Proposals and reports: Business proposals, research reports and other professional documents often have page limits you need to adhere to.
- Estimating work: Having an accurate word count allows you to estimate how long a writing project will take to finish.
Getting in the habit of periodically checking the counts can prevent going way over or under limits.
Recap and Next Steps
Now you know how to easily view the page count, word count, character count and other useful metrics in Google Docs. Here are some next things you can do:
- Set a goal word count to motivate your writing
- Use the live counter to pace yourself for big writing projects
- Double check counts before submitting school assignments
Let me know in the comments if you have any other questions!