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Notepad++ Word Count

This post is part 5 of 5 in the series Notepad++ Tips and Tricks
Logo for blog post "Word Count in Notepad++"

In Notepad++, you can quickly find information about your text. For example, what is the document length and total word count? You can do this by using a built-in feature or by using the TextFX plugin. They count words differently, though, so be aware! Make sure you use the one that is right for you :)

Word Count in Notepad++

If you have no plugins installed, you can use the built-in Summary feature. If you are using the TextFX plugin you can use the Word Count feature:

  • Click ViewSummary
  • Double-click on Length / Lines on the Status Bar (shortcut to Summary)
  • Use TextFXTextFX ToolsWord Count

Differences between Notepad++ and TextFX

The Notepad++ Summary only shows the total word count, not the selected word count. If you have text selected, it shows you how many characters you have selected, but not how many words are in your selection.

The TextFX Word Count shows the total and selected word count. It only works when you have text selected. It shows you how many words and characters are in your selection.

More importantly, Notepad++ and TextFX counts words differently. Notepad++ counts hyphenated words as two words, while TextFX counts hyphenated words as one word.

Fun fact: TextFX and Microsoft Word counts words the same way :)

View → Summary

You can open the Summary from the View menu:

Screenshot of opening Summary from the View menu
Click View → Summary

In the Summary, we see that we have 286 words:

Screenshot of Summary box counting 286 total words
Summary of All Text: 286 Words

Double-click on Status Bar

You can also open the Summary by double-clicking on Length / Lines in the Status Bar. In this example, we have highlighted the first paragraph:

Screenshot of opening Summary from the Status Bar
Double-click Length/Lines in Status Bar

In the Summary, we see that we still have 286 words, despite having selected text. We can only see the total words in the Summary box, not the selected words.

Screenshot of Summary box counting 286 total words, but no selected words
Summary of Selected Text: No Words, Only Characters

TextFX Tools → Word Count

The alternative way of counting words is to use the TextFX plugin. This only works if you have text selected:

Screenshot of opening TextFX Word Count
Click TextFX → TextFX Tools → Word Count

This time, we see that we have 90 words selected:

Screenshot of TextFX Word Count showing 90 selected words
Summary of Selected Text: 90 Words

However, if we select all the text, we see that we have 282 words. This is 4 fewer words than the Summary reported. This is because Notepad++ and TextFX counts hyphenated words differently:

Screenshot of TextFX Word Count showing 282 total words
Summary of All Text: 282 Words

Summary

You can quickly count words in Notepad++ by using the built-in Summary feature or by using the TextFX Word Count feature. They count words differently, though, so be aware! Make sure you use the one that is right for you :)

About the Author

Cathrine Wilhelmsen is a Microsoft Data Platform MVP, BimlHero Certified Expert, Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert, international speaker, author, blogger, and chronic volunteer who loves teaching and sharing knowledge. She works as a Senior Business Intelligence Consultant at Inmeta, focusing on Azure Data and the Microsoft Data Platform. She loves sci-fi, chocolate, coffee, craft beers, ciders, cat gifs and smilies :)

Comments

Hi! This is Cathrine. Thank you so much for visiting my blog. I'd love to hear your thoughts, but please keep in mind that I'm not technical support for any products mentioned in this post :) Off-topic questions, comments and discussions may be moderated. Be kind to each other. Thanks!

Hi Cathrine, thanks for the information. Now I can check my wordcount on Notepad ++.

Cheers! :-)

This was the perfect information presently clearly and concisely!

Hi, do you know how to directly display the word counter in the bottom bar ?

Hi Aurelien, this is currently not possible, but there is an open issue in the Notepad++ GitHub. Maybe you can add a comment or vote there if you want to see this implemented :)

Hello Cathrine, any idea on how to count the paragraphs, and eventually get an average of words per paragraph ?

Hi! This is Cathrine (again). Just a reminder. I'd love to hear your thoughts, but please keep in mind that I'm not technical support for any products mentioned in this post :) Off-topic questions, comments and discussions may be moderated. Be kind to each other. Thanks!

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