The code below from WPSnipps provides an excerpt character counter, but I'd like to count words instead. Does anybody have an idea of how to do this?

// Excerpt character count
function excerpt_count_js(){
      echo '<script>jQuery(document).ready(function(){
jQuery("#postexcerpt .handlediv").after("<div style=\"position:absolute;top:0px;right:5px;color:#666;\"><small>Excerpt length: </small><input type=\"text\" value=\"0\" maxlength=\"3\" size=\"3\" id=\"excerpt_counter\" readonly=\"\" style=\"background:#fff;\"> <small>character(s).</small></div>");
     jQuery("#excerpt").keyup( function() {
add_action( 'admin_head-post.php', 'excerpt_count_js');
add_action( 'admin_head-post-new.php', 'excerpt_count_js');
  • 2
    This example has to do with jQuery and would be better to ask on stackoverflow.com .
    – Wyck
    Oct 22, 2012 at 3:13
  • 2
    Why do you want to reinvent the wheel? WordPress has a word counter already, just look at the regular post editor and use wp-admin/js/word-count.dev.js.
    – fuxia
    Oct 22, 2012 at 3:16
  • 1
    @Wyck I'm not on stackoverflow... I was blocked, ironically, for asking questions like this which the admins decided was a WP question. Oct 27, 2012 at 21:17
  • 2
    The question is asking for the simplest code to get a word count for excerpts in WP, which is relevant for this site. It happens that the question already contains all the wp-specific stuff (i.e. the right hooks, as debugged by others on the original wpsnipp) but still, I'm glad the solution was here on WordPress Answers.
    – jerclarke
    Aug 2, 2013 at 16:23

2 Answers 2


Sorry for reading wrong your question @siouxfan45!

here is the right answer: just a little improvement in your code and you can count words!

just change these two lines:


to this:

jQuery("#excerpt_counter").val(jQuery("#excerpt").val().split(/\S\b[\s,\.\'-:;]*/).length - 1);

Words with single quote like "don't", "it's", "I'd", "won't"...will count as two! If you want them to count as a single word, then you will want to change the .split() to this:


Hope I'm right this time!

  • Anytime buddy!!
    – KBRckr
    Nov 13, 2012 at 5:48

While implementing this great answer (thanks!) I worked out what I think is a nicer way of displaying the number than the weird inactive field used by the original code. This shows just "Word count: $word_count" right below the textarea. The code below also incorporates KBRckr's code to count contractions (don't) as one word.

Screenshot of what my excerpt word count code gives you

 * Use jQuery to add a word counter to the excerpt box
 * Should attach to all post screens and indicate the number of words just below the #excerpt textarea
function gv_excerpt_word_count_js() {
      echo '
jQuery("#postexcerpt #excerpt").after("Word Count: <strong><span id=\'excerpt-word-count\'></span></strong>");
     jQuery("#excerpt-word-count").html(jQuery("#excerpt").val().split(/\S+\b[\s,\.\'-:;]*/).length - 1);
     jQuery("#excerpt").keyup( function() {
     jQuery("#excerpt-word-count").html(jQuery("#excerpt").val().split(/\S+\b[\s,\.\'-:;]*/).length - 1);
add_action( 'admin_head-post.php', 'gv_excerpt_word_count_js');
add_action( 'admin_head-post-new.php', 'gv_excerpt_word_count_js');

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