How to Count the Number of lines, Words, and, Characters in a Text File from Terminal?

The most easiest way to count the number of lines, words,a nad characters in text file is to use the command “wc” in terminal. The command “wc” basically means “word count” and with different optional parameters one can use it to count the number of lines, words, and characters in a text file.

To count the number of lines, use “wc” with “l” as

wc -l yourTextFile

To count the number of words, use “wc” with “w” option as

wc -w yourTextFile

And to count the total number of characters, use “wc” with “c” as

wc -c yourTextFile

More Counting: Count a Certain Type of Files in a Directory

One can also cleverly use the “wc” command on terminal and find the number of files (or files of certain type) in a directory. For example, to find the number of pdf files in a directory

ls -l *.pdf | wc -l

And remember that the first line of “ls -l” statement is a description. Therefore, the total number of pdf files is one less than the result of “ls -l *.pdf | wc -l“.