One thing many writers want to know is how much time they’re spending on writing. If you use Microsoft Word, you’re in luck, because it’s easy to find out how much time you’ve spent editing a document.

When you begin working on a new document, Word starts a timer. When you save the file, Word saves the time you’ve spent working on it to the document’s metadata. Every time you work on the file and then save it again, Word adds the new time to whatever’s already in the metadata. This provides a running total of the time spent editing the document. You can easily find the time spent editing a document, as well as information like when the document was last modified or printed, from within Word or directly in Windows’ File Explorer.

This information is useful enough if you like keeping track of how long you’ve worked on a document. It becomes even handier if you need to report that time to a client or employer.

There is one important thing to keep in mind when viewing this information, though. Word doesn’t actually count the time you’re actively editing a document—just the time that document is open. So, if you open up a document and leave it open all day without working on it, that time counts.

Find the Editing Time on a Document from Within Word

If you’ve already got the document open in Word, switch over to the “File” menu.

On the sidebar that pops up, click the “Info” command (it’s likely already selected by default when you open the “File” menu.

Over on the right, the “Info” pane shows various information about your document. Under the “Properties” section, you’ll see the “Total Editing Time” value. And note that Word always shows the time in minutes—you won’t see hours or seconds.

Find the Editing Time on a Document from Windows File Explorer

You don’t even have to open a Word document to find this information. Instead, you can pop open the document’s properties window straight from File Explorer.

To do so, right-click the file and then choose the “Properties” command from the context menu.

In the properties window, switch to the “Details” tab, scroll down a bit, and you’ll see the “Total Editing Time” entry.

And that’s all there is to it! It’s a handy little feature. Just remember that it’s not terribly accurate since Word counts the time the document is open rather than the time you’re actually typing away.

Profile Photo for Hayley Milliman Hayley Milliman
Hayley Milliman is a former Teach for America teacher turned curriculum developer and writer. Over the past five years, she's written hundreds of articles on everything from Microsoft Office to education to history. She's co-author of the book .
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