Free Online Word and Character Count Tool

QuillBot’s Word Counter is a free, easy-to-use tool for tracking word and character counts in your writing.

Our online word count tool displays data for both words and characters at the same time and allows you to easily toggle on/off whether you’d like spaces to be counted as characters. It also shows limits for social media platforms that have restricted character counts.

What are word counter and character counter?

When you add your text to QuillBot’s Word Counter, our powerful platform instantly performs the mundane counting tasks for you, so you can see right where your word and character limits are sitting for your project.

So, if you don’t know what the rules are for what counts as a character or when compound words count as one or two words, save yourself the searching, and let QuillBot be the word and character calculator.

Trust QuillBot’s expertise to know that hyphenated words only count as one, that accented letters don’t count as two characters, and that, usually, spaces do count as a character.

There’s no need to go crossed-eyed counting words or characters manually just to make sure you’re hitting your writing benchmarks or staying under harsh character limits. Your time is worth more than that—and so is your eyesight.

When to use a Word/Character Counter?

Online word and character counting tools have a variety of uses, from helping you to check your daily writing goals, meet assignment requirements, and create viral social media posts.

Who needs a word counter?

When counting words, the objective is usually to meet a minimum or a ballpark number, with a few exceptions. Below are some use cases where a word counter would be needed:


Often in school or university students will be asked to write a 250-word short answer to a question to show their knowledge or a 2,000-word essay.

Besides assignments, students applying for college and graduate school admissions will usually have a target word count for their application essays. Because of the large volume of applications each school receives, maximum word count limitations are usually also imposed.

For example, a student may be asked for a ~1,000-word personal statement, but the fine print will note a hard limit of 2,000 words.


Daily writing goals are important for the serious writer, even at the hobby level. Those looking to make writing a habit or hone their skills often choose to set a daily word count goal, like Neil Gaiman’s 50-words-per-day habit that, slowly but surely, helped him pen Coraline.

Job Seekers:

When crafting cover letters or completing case studies for job applications, it is sometimes required to meet target word count. For example, an applicant may be asked to write a 1,500-word report on a case study to show their knowledge of the market.

Students, Educators, and Researchers:

Research abstracts are one exception where the word count has a strict maximum that is typically difficult to achieve, since abstracts often need to summarize years of research into ~300 words.

Another exception where word count maximums are typically used is in grant and scholarship writing. It can be hard for students, educators, and researchers to outline a proposed project or describe their experiences and goals when they have to stick to such strict word limits.

Using a word counter tool during the drafting process can help with keeping your writing on track so that, when you begin editing, you aren’t trying to cut an essay in half or add another 1,000 words.

Who needs a character counter?

If you need to check your character count online, odds are that you are worried less about hitting a certain number of characters and more about staying under a certain hard limit.

Here are a few examples of when a character counter would be very helpful:

Social Media Users:

Most social media platforms have some kind of character limit. Twitter’s notoriously short limit of 280 characters is among the harshest hard limits, while Facebook recommends ~250 characters to achieve maximum engagement—though its actual hard character limit extends to tens of thousands of characters.

Job Seekers:

When completing online job applications, questionnaires, or assessments, many online platforms will have character limits for the text input boxes in which you write your responses or answers.

Digital Marketers:

Content creators make sure their work is found by utilizing metadata, like meta titles and descriptions, to make sure their work ranks for relevant keywords to be found by search engine users. Metadata and other SEO parameters, including Google snippets, must follow the suggested character counts used by search engines, if the content is going to be found or featured.

Digital marketers who run ads will also have to adhere to character limits when running their campaigns.

Who needs both a word and a character counter?

There are many more use cases for both word and character counters, since assignments and forms will always be set up in different ways to meet various goals.

In addition to each counter’s single use cases, there are a couple of prominent use cases where a writer or small business owner would need to be able to use both kinds of counters to complete a single project. Check them out below:


When writing a blog post, there are many tasks, like research, drafting, and SEO, that must be done in order for an article to be indexed and found online. For example, it is common practice for bloggers to aim for over 1,000 words in each article so that they include all of the necessary information related to a topic.

On top of that word count goal, once an article has been drafted, the SEO details (like meta title and description) must be crafted within certain character limits so that search engines will know to provide the article as a result for relevant keywords.

Online Business Owners:

Those doing business online on their own website or on a third-party platform often have a target word count for product descriptions for consistency, and this is often mandated, usually with a minimum, for some online retail platforms.

For businesses with their own site, SEO and the related character limits are extremely important to follow so that search engines understand the business and market to point searching users to the right product pages.

For sellers on a platform, most will still have to understand and optimize for keywords and metadata in order for their products to be found correctly, and these limits are almost always given in characters instead of words.

How to use the Word Counter?

To use QuillBot’s free online word and character count tool, just type or paste in your text, and QuillBot’s Word Counter will instantly calculate the number of words and characters. It will even show you how your character counts stack up against limits for popular social media platforms.

When you’re done working on a section of text, use the trash can icon in the top right corner to clear the window for a clean slate.

If you’ve changed or refined the input text to meet a target word count or stay under a strict character limit, you can easily download it or copy the updated text to your clipboard using the icons in the bottom right corner.

How is QuillBot’s Word Counter different from other word counters online?

It might be the newest word and character checker on the market, but it will soon become your favorite for at least one of the following reasons:

See everything you need (and more) at once.

The word and character counters are displayed side-by-side, so whether you’re reviewing one or both for your project, there’s no extra clicking, hovering, or changing tabs to see one count or the other.

Plus, you can also see the character limit counters for optimized Facebook posts (250 characters) and the hard limit for Twitter posts (280 characters) displayed right on the page in the bottom right-hand corner.

Enjoy zero clutter.

QuillBot’s Word Counter has a clean, intuitive, and clutter-free interface. You won’t be bothered with pop-ups or noisy ads, and it’s still free.

It’s more than just a word and character counter.

You might come to QuillBot for the free Word Counter, but once you’re here, we bet you’ll stay because of all of the other productivity-enhancing features that our platform offers.

The QuillBot platform has a whole assortment of writing and research tools available for free, like...

  • A state-of-the-art Paraphraser to help you easily articulate your thoughts

  • A Grammar Checker that is robust enough to catch errors in grammar, spelling, punctuation, word use, formatting, plus mistakes related to English fluency

  • An instant text Summarizer to help you quickly review papers or articles, compare and contrast possible sources, and check your reading comprehension

  • '' A frustration-free Citation Generator that supports MLA, APA, and Chicago Style citation formats in one click

  • Plus the Co-Writer word processing software, which lets you complete your entire writing workflow without ever opening another app—research, compose, refine, edit, cite, and check for writing mistakes all in one place

And that’s all in addition to the Word Counter.