Microsoft's WordPad comes pre-installed on every Windows computer, and serves as a passable text editor for basic writing tasks that require more punctuation or formatting than Notepad can provide. One of the features WordPad lacks, however, is a proper word counter. Since this feature can be very useful for writers of all stripes, you'll need to find an alternative so you can keep count of your words.
There are several other word processing programs that feature word counting. These include Microsoft's Word, Apache's OpenOffice.org Writer and Jarte. With any of these programs, you can copy text from your WordPad document, paste it into a blank document in the program and run the word counter tool. While OpenOffice.org and Jarte are both free, Word requires a purchase after its initial trial period.
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Online Word Counters
There are also several free online word counters that can be accessed from any Web browser. WordCounterTool, Word Count Tool and Word Counter all operate on the same basic premise: copy text from WordPad and paste it into the text field. You will be presented with the word count either as soon as you paste the text in or as soon as you click "Submit."