Calculate the total word count of a document - including text boxes

If you need to know how many words are in a document, and some of them are inside a text box, you'll have to perform at least one extra step. Here's a look at how to get the numbers you need.

The Word Count command in Word 2002/2003 excludes text boxes when totaling the number of words in your document. As Figure A shows, the Word Count dialog shows a count of 0, even though the document contains two linked text boxes filled with text.

Figure A

word count

Since the text boxes are linked, you can find the number of words in those boxes by following these steps:

  1. Click the left text box.

  1. Press Ctrl + A.

  1. Go to Tools | Word Count.
The Word Count box now shows the correct number of Words in the text boxes, as shown in Figure B.

correct word count

If the text boxes had not been linked, you would have needed to perform this operation on each box separately and then add the totals of each box to get a final count. Likewise, to calculate the total number of words in a document with one text box surrounded by other text, you would go to Tools | Word count to find the total for the surrounding text, follow steps 1 through 3 to find the total for the text box, and then add the two numbers for your total.

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