I just realized that MS word counts each dot in a bluebook format ellipsis as a separate word. Help! I’m trying to get an accurate word count on my brief and I find it hard to believe this is what a court would consider “three words.”

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I think a court would be okay with however word counts it. I hope so because I honestly have never given more thought to it than that!


Calculate it on the side as Word count less number of periods


If you don’t put spaces after the period it does not count as separate words.

Thank you, but then it also does not count as a Bluebook ellipsis.

You can copy and paste your brief into another word document and delete things like ellipses, caption, etc that you don’t want to get picked up by the word count and do that way

Usually, in my experience, courts that require word counts ask you to certify that the document contains X words as calculated by the word processing software, or something to that effect. I’d just stick with that (or use non-bluebook ellipses if you need the word count to go down).

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