How To Get A Live Word Count In Google Docs In Chrome [Guide]

MS Word is the go-to word processor for many people but it’s not a free app. You either have to buy the Office suite or get an office 365 subscription to use the apps. For those who can’t afford it, Google Docs is a good alternative. It doesn’t have every single feature that MS Word does but it’s reasonably good. One rather basic feature that Google Docs doesn’t have is a live word counter. You can check the word count in Google Docs but that’s about it. Wordcounter is a Chrome extension that adds a live word count in Google Docs.

Word Count In Google Docs

Install the Wordcounter extension in Chrome and visit Google Docs. Select any document, a new one, or one you created before installing the extension.

You will see a floating bar that tells you the current word count. Start typing and you will see it update in real time.

Wordcounter adds a calculator icon next to the URL bar that you can use to toggle the word counter on/off. This not only makes the extension a great way to add a live word count in Google docs, it also gives users a much easier way to check the word count. The built-in method for checking the word count is still good if you need additional information such as characters and pages.

To view this information, go to Tools>Word count.

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Google Docs has the ability to count words, and it probably updates with every single keystroke so the fact that the word count isn’t live or more easily visible means it’s a design choice. Google Docs is probably going for a minimal interface that prevents users from being distracted. If you also factor in other features that Google Docs has such as commenting, chat, and collaboration, the interface gets exceptionally busy and it would probably be lost in all of that.

The floating word counter doesn’t stick to the top of the document. It follows you as you type. It’s going to be on the same line that you’re typing on. If you click somewhere else within the text you’ve already typed, the counter will jump to that location however it will not tell you the word count that you’ve reached up to that point. The word counter will always give you the total word count which is a bit of a shame. If you need to get the word count for a specific part of the document, you need to first select it and then go to Tools>Word count.

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