Count Noncontiguous Words

BY STANLEY ZAROWIN

Key to Instructions
To help readers follow the instructions in this article, we used two different typefaces:
Boldface type is used to identify the names of icons, agendas and URLs.
Sans serif type shows commands and instructions users should type into the computer and the names of files.

Q. I regularly prepare executive summaries of no more than 450 words. I gather the information, in bits and pieces, from a large master document. When I use the Word Count function in Word, I can’t get a total count in one effort if the groups of words are not contiguous. It’s a minor problem, but a frequent irritation. Is there a solution?

A. There is, and it’s simple. After you select the first block of words, hold down the Ctrl key as you use the mouse to select each subsequent block.

Since you have to use Word Count often, I suggest you put it in your toolbar. You’ll find it by going to Tools , Customize and the Commands tab; it’s under the Tools category.

Tip: When the Ctrl key is added to a shortcut, it often serves the purpose of allowing a user to select a series of noncontiguous items, as it does in this screenshot where a group of noncontiguous folders are selected in Explorer.

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