How to Display the Word Count While Typing in Google Docs

If you want to display the word count in Google Docs while you’re writing your document, here’s how to enable this simple setting.

Many times, a document you’re writing requires a specific word count. College essays and school papers, articles, and published pieces are perfect examples. While Google Docs offers a word count feature, it upped the game with it by providing a word count while you type.

By enabling this feature, you can glance down to see how close you are to your goal. So you don’t have to stop mid-document from opening the word count tool.

How to Display the Word Count in Google Docs Online

Visit the Google Docs website, sign in if necessary, and then open your document.

  1. Select Tools from the menu and choose Word Count.
  2. Check the box for Display word count while typing.
  3. Click OK.

Display the Word Count While Typing in Google Docs

You’ll then see the word count box display in the bottom left corner of your document.

Word count displayed in Google Docs

By default, it shows what you asked for, the word count. But if you click the arrow, you can see the page and character count with and without spaces.

Page, word, and character counts

If you prefer to display one of those options, click, and it’ll stick in the box.

Page count while typing

When you are finished viewing the word and other counts, click the arrow and pick Hide word count to tuck the box away.

Remember, if you prefer to view the word count, click Tools > Word Count from the menu. Get your counts and then close the pop-up window.

Enabling Word Count While Typing

When you enable the feature to see your word count while typing in Google Docs, it applies only to your current document. So, if you have multiple documents that you want to use the feature for, you’ll need to turn it on for each one.

Additionally, enabling the feature for your current document does not keep it open if you close and reopen it later. If you want to see the word count while typing for the same document, you’ll need to turn on the feature each time you open the document.

How to View the Word Count in Google Docs on Mobile

If you use Google Docs on your Android device or iPhone, you can also view the word count there. The difference is that you don’t have the option to see it while you type as you do online.

  1. Launch the Google Docs app on your mobile device and open your document.
  2. Tap More (three dots).
  3. Select Word Count.

You can then see the number of words, characters, and characters excluding spaces.

Word count in Google Docs mobile

Hopefully, down the road, Google will add the ability to display the word count while typing in the app on mobile like on the web. But until then, you do have a way to see your word and character counts in the Google Docs mobile app.

See Your Word Count as You Type in Google Docs

Being able to see the word count of your document while you type is a handy feature. You can keep writing, remain focused, and view the number of words with a glance.

Also, take a look at how to create a bibliography in Google Docs for your references. And, if you want to see the word count for your slideshow, check out our how-to for finding the word count in your PowerPoint presentation.

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