An online word counter is a necessary tool for every student, journalist, or anyone else who writes for a living. There are many times when the length of an article or essay is an important consideration. Having an op-ed piece that is too long can lead to rejection, just as having an academic paper that is too short can lead to a bad grade. That is why you want to be sure that before you turn in any final work, you are always careful to run everything through an online word counter to make sure your piece’s word count is within your desired range.

Using an Online Word Counter

Many online tools for writers require training and distract from the most important part of a piece of writing (digital or otherwise): The content itself. This is the beauty of an online word counter; they are so easy to use that anyone can do it. All you need is an internet connection and the ability to copy and paste the text of your writing.

First, you highlight the text of your writing. It does not matter where you are copying your text from, it can be a Word Document, a Facebook post, something from Adobe, or anything else, simply right-click copy the text (or press ctrl-c) and right-click paste (or press ctrl-v) it into the online word counter. You will see that the online word counter has an unmistakable box where you can directly insert your text.

If you are worried about how your text is formatted, don’t! The word counter will automatically format everything into plain text so that every word can be accurately counted. 

What Else Can You Do With an Online Word Counter?

In addition to transferring your text to plain copy, you can use a word counter for the following:

  • To check read time: It is important in some instances to know how long your written piece is going to take the average reader to get through. There are some pieces of content that must be incredibly concise if they have any hope of gathering readers. As a writer, it is up to you to create content that is within the range people are used to. If you are writing for an online publication that specializes in small thousand-word pieces, you may be putting yourself at a disadvantage by writing something that has, for example, a 15-minute read time.
  • To check reading level: Knowing who your audience is may be just as if not more important than knowing about their attention span. While attention spans can be stretched, you cannot expect people to immediately go far above their present reading level. If you are writing for kids, teens, or other young people, you are going to want to make sure you run your piece through an online word counter that gives you a reading level estimate to make sure the content is not too complex for the particular age group.
  • To check speaking time: If you are writing a speech and need to know how long the written words will go form when given a voice, an online word counter can give you an estimate on the “speaking time” associated with written content.
  • To check keywords: If you are writing an SEO-piece, you are likely targeting certain specific keywords. An online word counter can help ensure you are properly doing so.

Now that you know how to use an online word counter, you can be sure to put the proper touches on your next written work. Good luck!