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guideWord count and character count

The WordCount feature provides a possibility to track the number of words and characters written in the rich-text editor.

It is a feature crucial for writing professionals but also for students and marketers. Keeping track of the document’s word or character count helps planning the overall content volume, meeting assignment requirements or keeping within the preset text length goal. The word or character count aids quick assessment of work that was done and needs yet to be done as well as supports the writing process planning and management.

# Demo

Taj Mahal is a mausoleum built in Agra between 1631 and 1648 by Emperor Shah Jahan in the memory of his beloved wife, Mumtaz Mahal, whose body lies there. It took 20 000 workers to complete and the excellence of this building is visible in every brick.

In 1983, Taj Mahal was appointed UNESCO World Heritage Site for being “the jewel of Muslim art in India and one of the universally admired masterpieces of the world's heritage”.

The example above was created by using the following HTML page structure:

<div id="editor">
    <p>Hello world.</p>
<div id="word-count"></div>

You can use the code below to set up the WYSIWYG editor with the word and character count features as in the example above.

    .create( document.querySelector( '#editor' ), {
        // Configuration details.
    } )
    .then( editor => {
        const wordCountPlugin = editor.plugins.get( 'WordCount' );
        const wordCountWrapper = document.getElementById( 'word-count' );

        wordCountWrapper.appendChild( wordCountPlugin.wordCountContainer );
    } )
    .catch( ... );

CKEditor 5 provides other productivity-boosting features that you may find helpful:

# Configuration

The word count and character count feature is quite flexible and there are a few configuration options available.

# Configuring the container

There are two ways how you can inject the word count statistics into your page:

The word count plugin renders its output as:

<div class="ck ck-word-count">
    <div class="ck-word-count__words">Words: %%</div>
    <div class="ck-word-count__characters">Characters: %%</div>

If you wish to render the statistics differently, see the update event.

# Changing the output

There are two configuration options available that change the output of the word count and character count features:

# Reacting to updates

You can execute your custom callback every time content statistics change by defining config.wordCount.onUpdate in the editor configuration:

    .create( document.querySelector( '#editor' ), {
        plugins: [ WordCount, ... ],
        wordCount: {
            onUpdate: stats => {
                // Prints the current content statistics.
                console.log( `Characters: ${ stats.characters }\nWords: ${ stats.words }` );
    } )
    .then( ... )
    .catch( ... );

Note: For performance reasons, your callback will be throttled and may not be up–to–date. Use the characters and words plugin properties to retrieve the precise numbers on demand.

Below you can play with a demo post editor with a soft 120 characters limit and a progress chart below indicating how many characters are in the content. The progress chart changes its color as the limit is near or exceeded. Type in the editor to see the feature in action. See the code used to create the demo listed below in this section.

Post editor with word count

Tourists frequently admit that Taj Mahal “simply cannot be described with words”.

const maxCharacters = 120;
const container = document.querySelector( '.demo-update' );
const progressCircle = document.querySelector( '.demo-update__chart__circle' );
const charactersBox = document.querySelector( '.demo-update__chart__characters' );
const wordsBox = document.querySelector( '.demo-update__words' );
const circleCircumference = Math.floor( 2 * Math.PI * progressCircle.getAttribute( 'r' ) );
const sendButton = document.querySelector( '.demo-update__send' );

    .create( document.querySelector( '#demo-update__editor' ), {
        // Editor configuration.
        wordCount: {
            onUpdate: stats => {
                const charactersProgress = stats.characters / maxCharacters * circleCircumference;
                const isLimitExceeded = stats.characters > maxCharacters;
                const isCloseToLimit = !isLimitExceeded && stats.characters > maxCharacters * .8;
                const circleDashArray = Math.min( charactersProgress, circleCircumference );

                // Set the stroke of the circle to show how many characters were typed.
                progressCircle.setAttribute( 'stroke-dasharray', `${ circleDashArray },${ circleCircumference }` );

                // Display the number of characters in the progress chart. When the limit is exceeded,
                // display how many characters should be removed.
                if ( isLimitExceeded ) {
                    charactersBox.textContent = `-${ stats.characters - maxCharacters }`;
                } else {
                    charactersBox.textContent = stats.characters;

                wordsBox.textContent = `Words in the post: ${ stats.words }`;

                // If the content length is close to the character limit, add a CSS class to warn the user.
                container.classList.toggle( 'demo-update__limit-close', isCloseToLimit );

                // If the character limit is exceeded, add a CSS class that makes the content's background red.
                container.classList.toggle( 'demo-update__limit-exceeded', isLimitExceeded );

                // If the character limit is exceeded, disable the send button.
                sendButton.toggleAttribute( 'disabled', isLimitExceeded );
    } )
    .catch( ... );

Here is the HTML structure used to create the customized word and character count implementation above:

    .demo-update {
        border: 1px solid var(--ck-color-base-border);
        border-radius: var(--ck-border-radius);
        box-shadow: 2px 2px 0px hsla( 0, 0%, 0%, 0.1 );
        margin: 1.5em 0;
        padding: 1em;

    .demo-update h3 {
        font-size: 18px;
        font-weight: bold;
        margin: 0 0 .5em;
        padding: 0;

    .demo-update {
        border: 1px solid hsla( 0, 0%, 0%, 0.15 );
        transition: background .5s ease-out;
        min-height: 6em;
        margin-bottom: 1em;

    .demo-update__controls {
        display: flex;
        flex-direction: row;
        align-items: center;

    .demo-update__chart {
        margin-right: 1em;

    .demo-update__chart__circle {
        transform: rotate(-90deg);
        transform-origin: center;

    .demo-update__chart__characters {
        font-size: 13px;
        font-weight: bold;

    .demo-update__words {
        flex-grow: 1;
        opacity: .5;

    .demo-update__limit-close .demo-update__chart__circle {
        stroke: hsl( 30, 100%, 52% );

    .demo-update__limit-exceeded {
        background: hsl( 0, 100%, 97% );

    .demo-update__limit-exceeded .demo-update__chart__circle {
        stroke: hsl( 0, 100%, 52% );

    .demo-update__limit-exceeded .demo-update__chart__characters {
        fill: hsl( 0, 100%, 52% );

<div class="demo-update">
    <h3>Post editor with word count</h3>
    <div id="demo-update__editor">
        <p>Tourists frequently admit that <a href="">Taj Mahal</a> “simply cannot be described with words”.</p>
    <div class="demo-update__controls">
        <span class="demo-update__words"></span>
        <svg class="demo-update__chart" viewbox="0 0 40 40" width="40" height="40" xmlns="">
            <circle stroke="hsl(0, 0%, 93%)" stroke-width="3" fill="none" cx="20" cy="20" r="17" />
            <circle class="demo-update__chart__circle" stroke="hsl(202, 92%, 59%)" stroke-width="3" stroke-dasharray="134,534" stroke-linecap="round" fill="none" cx="20" cy="20" r="17" />
            <text class="demo-update__chart__characters" x="50%" y="50%" dominant-baseline="central" text-anchor="middle"></text>
        <button type="button" class="demo-update__send">Send post</button>

# Installation

To add this feature to your rich-text editor, install the @ckeditor/ckeditor5-word-count package:

npm install --save @ckeditor/ckeditor5-word-count

And add it to your plugin list configuration:

import WordCount from '@ckeditor/ckeditor5-word-count/src/wordcount';

    .create( document.querySelector( '#editor' ), {
        plugins: [ WordCount, ... ],
    } )
    .then( ... )
    .catch( ... );

Read more about installing plugins.

# Common API

The WordCount plugin provides:

  • The wordCountContainer property. It returns a self-updating HTML element which is updated with the current number of words and characters in the editor. You can remove the “Words” or “Characters” counters with a proper configuration of the config.wordCount.displayWords and config.wordCount.displayCharacters options.

  • The update event, fired whenever the plugins update the number of counted words and characters. You can use it to run a custom callback function with updated values:

    editor.plugins.get( 'WordCount' ).on( 'update', ( evt, stats ) => {
        // Prints the current content statistics.
        console.log( `Characters: ${ stats.characters }\nWords:      ${ stats.words }` );
    } );

    Alternatively, you can use config.wordCount.onUpdate to register a similar callback via the editor configuration.

    Note: For performance reasons, the update event is throttled so the statistics may not be up–to–date. Use the characters and words plugin properties to retrieve the precise numbers on demand.

  • The characters and words properties from which you can retrieve the stats at any moment.

We recommend using the official CKEditor 5 inspector for development and debugging. It will give you tons of useful information about the state of the editor such as internal data structures, selection, commands, and many more.

# Contribute

The source code of the feature is available on GitHub in