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How To Get The Word Count Of A PDF File

Getting a word count helps you to check a document's length. This is essential, especially in journalistic and academic work, plus other written work that’s paid per word. However, if your document is in PDF format, you won't be able to get the file’s word count without a proper tool. This is because PDF software doesn't interpret a file like a word processor, so getting the word count of a PDF file can be tricky.


There are many situations where you might need to know a PDF’s total length. For instance, you might be writing a paper for school or college and you’re striving to hit a specific number of words. Alternatively, possibly you're writing a book and need to know how much progress you've made. In short, whenever you're working on a task that involves a PDF, you'll need to check the text’s total length.

Fortunately, we explain how you can straightforwardly check a PDF's word count in this article. This will take just a few seconds of your time. So let's jump into it!

Step By Step: How To Get A PDF’s Word Count

To get a PDF’s text length, first, you'll need to copy the text. You can easily do this using a tool such as Slim PDF Reader or Able2Extract Professional:

  • In Slim PDF Reader, simply copy the text by opening the document in the program and selecting the content by using CTRL + A.
  • In Able2Extract Professional, open your file and click on the "Select All" option.

After you've copied the text, it's time to get its total length. For this, we suggest you use WordCounter.net. This is how you can find a document’s length:

  1. Go to WordCounter.net.
  2. Paste the copied text, and you'll see its length at the top of the page.
  3. To edit your PDF before or after counting its words, use our online PDF editor.

WordCounter PDF Text

Also Check This: How To Highlight A PDF

What You Need To Know About Counting Words In A PDF File

Now that you know the best way to get the number of words in PDFs, it's time to find out a few aspects of this process that you need to account for. These aspects are as follows:

  • Microsoft Word is one of the widely used text apps that people use to count words. Moreover, alongside counting words, Word is also capable of counting characters (with and without spaces), pages, lines, and paragraphs. So to use Word to carry out this task on your PDF, simply convert your PDF to Word.
  • The well-known program Adobe Acrobat can open PDFs. However, it doesn't have the option to count words in PDFs.
  • Of course, you can make changes to your PDFs before or after counting the number of words if you want to. You only need to use our "Edit PDF" tool to edit your file. The advantage of our tool is that it’s web-based, so you don't have to install any new apps on your device.
  • Make sure to save your PDF file before you copy its text to get the total length.

Which Programs Allow You To Get A PDF’s Word Count

Even though using online tools to get a PDF’s text length is a clever choice, sometimes you might want to go for other alternatives. So, in this section, we'll see how you can get the length of PDFs in different operating systems and programs.

Get The Length Of A PDF File On A PC

Counting words in a PDF on a PC (Windows, Mac, or Linux) might sound tricky, but luckily, that's not true. In fact, performing this task on a computer is way easier than you might think. Let's examine how to count words in PDFs on these devices.

Windows 10 And Prior Versions Of Windows

Counting words in PDFs is quite simple if you're a Windows PC user and you have a Google account. First, copy the text from your file, and then paste it onto a blank Google Doc using CTRL + V. Then go to Tools and click Word Count, or simply tap CTRL + SHIFT + C.


Luckily, Macs come with a native program called "Pages" that allows you to count words in PDFs. All you need to do is open your document in Pages and get the word count by pressing Command + Shift + W. Easy!


The simplest way to count the number of words in PDFs on Linux is to use the command "wc" in the terminal. This means "word count," and you can use the Command to count words in a PDF file with different optional parameters. To carry out this activity, use "wc" with a "w" option, like wc -w yourPDFFile.

Get A PDF’s Word Count On A Smartphone Or Tablet

There are some situations where you may want to count words in PDFs on a smartphone or tablet, mainly if you're away from home or the office. Let's talk about these.


If you want to count words in PDFs on your Android phone because you don't want to use online tools, we've got good news for you. There are a bunch of applications to do this that you can find in the Google Play Store. Simply search for "PDF Word Counter" in the search bar.

iPhone (iOS) Or iPad

iPhone (iOS) or iPad users are in luck if you want to count words in PDFs. This is because these devices have an in-build program known as "Pages," which allows you to carry out this activity. Open your document in the app and click the "More" button to enable the "Word Count."

Frequently Asked Questions About Getting The Word Count Of A PDF File

To get the word count of a PDF file, you can use online tools, Adobe Acrobat's built-in feature, or copy and paste the text into word processing software.
No, you cannot directly obtain the word count of a scanned PDF. However, you can use OCR software to convert the scanned text into editable text and then determine the word count.
The limitations include non-editable PDFs, complex formatting affecting accuracy, password-protected PDFs, and text within embedded images not being counted accurately.
Husain has been around the internet ever since the dial-up days and loves writing about everything across the technosphere. He loves taking tech apart and see what makes them tick, without necessarily putting it all back together.
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