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Q&A: Where Is the Mid-Document Word Count?

QWord used to show me what word I was on out of the total word count. Where has that gone?

AThat feature is no more, but here’s a workaround because it was uesful to track our progress and as place markers or reference points within the document that weren’t affected by font and spacing choices.

In the past, it was easy to use word counts also as a sort of bookmark. A comment could say, for example, “How does this relate to the content found near word 276?” But Word no longer displays a running count of the cursor’s placement in terms of word count. This is a feature we miss! The good news is, you can kludge this and still get the info we seek.

Word used to display a running account of where the cursor was placed.

How to Find Current Word-of-Words Cursor Placement

Place the cursor, then select all text above it by either scrolling or using a shortcut to get to the top of the document. The bottom border of the Word window will display the count of the selected text, as shown above.

  • Hold shift then type the keyboard shortcut to get to the top of the document: cmd + shift + Home (on a Mac) or ctrl + shift + Home for Windows users.
    Laptop users without a home key can press cmd + shift + fn + left arrow (Windows users press ctrl + shift + fn + left arrow)
  • Hold shift then navigate to the top of the document by scrolling and then click the top of the document. — To speed up scrolling, you could first change the view to multi-page and zoom out more.

After noting the “# of # words” displayed in the bottom border (just like in the olden days), return to your place in the document by pressing the right arrow key.


See last week’s post about finding the document’s word count.

Instead of referring to a word count marker and requiring the other team member to understand how to find that, place a comment with a reference number or code, and refer to that. For example: “ref a1”. Just make sure that code isn’t found elsewhere in the document.

Got a gnarly Word problem? Submit your problem and we’ll try to answer it in the Q&A thread.

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