Filed Under: How to Edit

How to See Word Count in InDesign With Ease


Written by Jack Lin

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Word Count in InDesign

In many areas, it’s great but if you have a school project which specifies a word count or your manager wants a specific number of words on the design, viewing the word count in InDesign isn’t always easy.

Take Microsoft Word, for example. As this program has been created for writing, where word count is a key piece of information, it’s easy to view the word count.

Since Adobe InDesign is meant for desktop publishing, where word count is typically not important, it’s not something that’s easily accessible.

So, on that note, we’ll show you how to view the word count on an InDesign project.

Basic Way to View Word Count in InDesign

An easy way of checking an InDesign file’s word count is with a built-in feature. Many users don’t realize that this feature is already there.

It’s understandable since it’s not in plain sight, nor is it a feature you’d just stumble across.

Nonetheless, follow these steps to check.

#1 – Launch the Adobe InDesign program and click “File > Open.” Using the window that appears, locate and select the InDesign file you want to check the word count.

#2 – Now that you have the file open, at the top of the window, click “Windows > Info.”

click "Windows > Info."

#3 – A window of information will now appear. You can see specific details of your project, including the word count.

see specific details of your project

While you have the information window on your screen, you can also highlight sections of your text to view their length. Similarly, to check the word count of a text frame, just click on the frame when the information window is open.

There are a few reasons why this is inconvenient. First, the information window takes up valuable screen space – other programs display the word count in small characters at the bottom of the window.

Secondly, it’s just a hassle to navigate your way to find this feature. So, although you can check word count in InDesign without external help, it isn’t ideal.

Alternative Solution to See InDesign Word Count

Adobe InDesign might not be an option for you. Although Adobe is trying to make its software solutions more affordable, it still has a way to go.

So, if the price of Adobe InDesign is your problem, then an alternative like PDFelement might be worth considering.

This program includes plenty of features, just like those you’d find in Adobe InDesign, and it’s easier than it is to check word count in InDesign with PDFelement.

  • After opening or creating a PDF, users can save the file in another format (e.g., HTML, Word, Excel, or PowerPoint).
  • Includes annotation abilities so you can comment on or add notes to a PDF file without making changes.
  • Create new PDFs or edit existing PDF files.
  • It allows you to add a signature area to create contracts and similar documents.
  • Add passwords to your PDF files so only authorized individuals can access them.
  • Add redactions to parts of a PDF file so that you can share it without others being able to see private information.
  • It has an OCR feature that allows you to scan images of documents and convert them to PDF.
  • Available as a limited free trial or as a paid complete version.
  • Very easy to use and has plenty of online guides to make it even easier.

Another common complaint about Adobe programs is that they are difficult to use. PDFelement is the complete opposite.

Even though there is a wide range of features, each is easy to use, and the program itself isn’t overwhelming. In this regard, PDFelement has the upper hand.

Steps for Using PDFelement

Whether or not your file was made with PDFelement, you can use the program to check the word count in InDesign. If you have the InDesign file on your computer, follow the steps below.

#1 – Download and install the free or paid version of PDFelement on your computer.

#2 – Launch PDFelement, and press the “Open File…” button on the main screen.


#3 – An explorer window will pop up on your screen. Using this window, locate the InDesign file you want to view the word count of.

#4 – Select the file and click “Open” to view it on PDFelement.

#5 – Click on “Home” at the top of the window. From the ribbon of saving options, click the Microsoft Word icon and save it.

convert pdf options

#6 – You can now close PDFelement and open the new file using Microsoft Word.

#7 – On Microsoft Word, navigate to the Review tab and click “Word Count.” You will now see how many words there are in the InDesign file.

There are a few more steps involved here. Additionally, you’ll require a copy of Microsoft Word.

That said, if you’re tired of wading through the endless Adobe InDesign settings to check word count in InDesign, this is another way of doing so.

Other Ways of Checking Word Count

You should use the InDesign program to check the file’s word count. Otherwise, you can use the alternative PDFelement if InDesign is too inconvenient.

But if neither of those solutions is satisfying, you can try one of the less preferable methods below.

#1 – Copy the Text to Microsoft Word

Microsoft Word’s word-counting feature is handy and easy to access. You don’t have to go through the same hassle as the previous method if you have the patience to copy the text simply.

Doing this is less favorable if you have a lot of text in the Adobe InDesign file. That aside, here’s what you have to do.

  • Open your publisher file in Adobe InDesign and open a new Word document.
  • Use your cursor to click on, and highlight the text to copy. Press the keyboard shortcut CTRL + C to copy it to your clipboard.
  • Go to the new Word document and press the keyboard shortcut CTRL + V. This will paste the text from InDesign.
  • Repeat steps 2 and 3 until all of the text from InDesign is on the Word document.
  • Once the text is all pasted, on Microsoft Word, click “Review” and select “Word Count.”

As we said, if you have a lot of text or text boxes, this will require some time. Nonetheless, it’ll provide you with an accurate word count in InDesign.

#2 – Use an Online Word Counter

Like the last method, you can paste the text into an online word counter. This is the same as using Microsoft Word but is suitable for those who can’t access Word.

  • Launch Adobe InDesign and open the InDesign file.
  • Open your web browser and search for a free word-counting website.
  • On InDesign, highlight a text block and press CTRL + C. Use CTRL + V to paste this text into the Word counter.
  • Repeat the previous step until all of the text from the file is in the word count.

Each word counter works differently, but typically, they will present you with the word count instantly.

#3 – Estimate the Word Count

This final method is far from ideal. If you’ve ever written an essay for a school with word count limits, then you may be familiar with this process.

If your design includes multiple similarly-sized text boxes, count how many words are in 2 or 3 of them. Use the total word count to calculate an average. Finally, multiply the average by the total number of text boxes.

This isn’t going to get you the exact word count, but if you aren’t able to use any other methods from this article, it’ll get you a rough idea of how many words there are.

Also read: How to Edit a PDF in InDesign?


  1. Can InDesign count words in a whole document?
    Yes, by using the Info Panel or the Story Editor, you can select all the text in your document to see the total word count.
  2. Can I use scripts in InDesign to count words?
    Yes, InDesign supports scripting. You can find numerous free scripts online that can help with word counting.
  3. What are some common mistakes to avoid when managing word count in InDesign?
    Some common mistakes include ignoring Master Pages, not utilizing layers, and overlooking the Preflight Check.
  4. Can adjusting kerning and tracking affect my word count?
    Adjusting kerning and tracking can alter how many words fit in a given space, but it does not change the actual word count.
  5. Why is word count important in InDesign?
    Word count is important as it helps ensure you meet your content requirements. This is especially critical when you have specific word count limits for clients or publishing platforms.

To Conclude

All in all, users aren’t able to quickly see the word count in InDesign, and if you have to reach or stay within a certain range, accessing this feature is important.

If it’s inconvenient to access the built-in feature, one of the alternative methods above will hopefully help.

Keep in mind that If you want a simpler and less expensive desktop publisher, PDFelement is your best choice. It offers all the essentials and much more!


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