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Counting words and characters in Word 2007
 
Word 2007 has a command to to both ot these, plus a running word count for the document.
 
The running word count is in the status bar at the bottom of the window. It does not include words deleted but still visible in Track Changes mode.

Word count in status bar

If you highlight a section fo the document, the word count in the status bar changes to a fraction, with the numerator the number of words highlighted and the denominator the total words in the document.
 

Hughlighted word count in status bar

The full word and character counting command is on the Review tab on the left side.
 

Word Count icon on Review tab

Clicking the icon after highlighting part of the document gives you counts for the highlighted part.
 

Results of Word Count command

 
If you don't highlight anything, you get counts for the entire document. The counts do not include words or characters that have been deleted but are still visible if you're in Track Changes mode.