So you need to get a word count for the latest chapter of your novel or an essay assignment for school? Don’t worry, here are three easy-to-use tools to count your words.
Need to get a word count on your latest writing project?
Here are three tools that can help.
Why Count Words?
If you’re an experienced writer, this might already be obvious to you. However, if you’re new to writing, you need to know that keeping track of your word count is a central habit of a writer.
You count words for two main reasons.
1. Because Publishers Count Words
In school, writing assignments are usually measured by page length (e.g. please turn in a three-page essay on Jane Austen’s use of satire in Emma by Friday).
However, measuring by page-length is inaccurate and, in many cases, unhelpful. Font, spacing, and formatting changes can alter the number of pages, and if you’re writing a newspaper, magazine, or book, the pages will be in a variety of different sizes anyway. Measuring by word count, on the other hand, is consistent.
Furthermore, publishers often pay on a per-word basis, and so it makes sense for professional writers to keep track of how many words they write.
But what if you’re not a professional writer? Why should you count words then?
2. Counting Words Can Motivate You
Many famous writers have kept daily word count goals. Ernest Hemingway is reported to have written 500 words per day. Stephen King writes 2,000 words per day, even on holidays. Victorian novelist Anthony Trollope wrote 3,000 words per day.
Setting a daily word count goal can inspire you.
One of the best known word count goals is NaNoWriMo (or National Novel Writing Month). Every November, thousands of writers challenge themselves to write 50,000 words in a month (that’s 1,667 words per day, by the way).
Another resource for writers is my friend Jeff Goins’ 500 Words a Day Challenge, which is a 31-day writing challenge that over a thousand writers have participated in.
3 Tools to Count Words
How do you keep an accurate word count?
1. Count Words With Microsoft Word
The most-widely used word processor makes it easy to count your words.
On Windows, there are two ways to see the word count. On the Review tab, just next to Spelling and Grammar Check, and on the home ribbon beside the page number.
On Mac, you can find the word count under Tools -> Word Count.
Pro Tip: I add a shortcut to word count, ⌘ + W, to access my word count on the fly. To add the keyboard shortcut, go to System Preferences > Keyboard > Shortcuts. Then select App Shortcuts, and add the menu command “Word Count…” to the list (The menu command has to be exact, so don’t forget the true ellipsis, alt + semi-colon).
2. Take Word Counts to the Next Level With Scrivener
While Microsoft Word is a decent word processor for writing essays and articles, if you’re writing a novel or book, you need a more powerful tool.
Scrivener is a perfect tool for finding your word count because it not only keeps your word count visible, it allows you to track your daily word count and the word count for your entire project. You can learn more about Scrivener on our review here.
To track your daily word count on Scrivener, go to Project > Show Project Targets (⌘++T, on Mac). This will open a popup that updates automatically as you type. Isn’t that cool?
In Scrivener, you can set the project targets to your daily word count and track your progress. Also, notice the word count visible at the bottom of the application.
3. A Fast, Online Word Counter
If you don’t have access to either of these tools, you can find, free online word counters. One of the best, in my opinion, is WordCounter.net.
Word Counter is a free, online word count tool.
Challenge Yourself to Write 1,000 Words Today
These tools can change your life.
How would your life be different if you challenged yourself to write 1,000 words a day? (Share that challenge on Twitter)
Even if you took the weekends off, in just a month, you would have 22,000 words. In six months, you would have written 132,000 words, easily enough for a long novel. After the first year, you could have written two books.
It starts by taking just a few seconds to track your words.
Do you have a daily word count goal? What is it?
Write 1,000 words today. Keep track using one of the tools above.
When you’re finished, share your best 250 words in the comments section below. And if you share, please be sure to give feedback on a few practices by other writers.
This is a free online calculator which counts the number of words or units in a text. Authors writing your book, pupils working on your essay, self-employed word smiths, teachers, translators, professors, or simply curious individuals: please feel free to use this tool to count the number of words in your document. It will also be useful for database, grammatical research, translation breakdowns, dictionary creation, commercial writing, etc.
To start, simply write or paste the text into the text areas. When you have finished, click on Count words under the text area, and watch the results appear immediately. You can also clear your text anytime you want by clicking on Reset.
The word limit for a dissertation is usually between 3,000 and 8,000; for a Personal Statement in a job application 600. To avoid exceeding your word limit, try to replace phrases with single words, avoid pleonasms, check the voice of your verbs, and (more importantly) sleep on it.
Microsoft Office 2010 student was initially a kind of package that included applications that were previously sold separately. The advantage was purchase cost. The first version of the suite contains cheap Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint. Over the years, Office applications have grown, sharing some components such as a spell checker, the ability to integrate OLE and VBA scripts.
Microsoft Office suite is still the most famous in the world. Since the 2003 release, Microsoft has added the word "Office" before the name of each software suite that seems to be less suitable for individuals, advising students and families to purchase Microsoft Works Suite for cheap Microsoft Word.
A word processing software covers two notions, quite different in practice: an interactive text editor and a compiler for a language formatting of texts. During its evolution, Word has integrated design tool that allows publishing operations, such as adding graphics (charts, graphs, economic, geometric shapes, illustrations, equations) and student training.
Pay attention to word count
Writer and typewriter Readers find articles with interesting information enjoyable. For the same reason, writers strive to use words that make articles thought-provoking for the target readership. The choice of words is based on facts and figures to make the article interesting and convincing. It is important to be concise and respect word count. Generally, the lesser the words the better is the article. Novels are stories structured with words, and best-selling novels have words that do extraordinary things. Novel writers will tell you about the dreaded writers block having difficulty putting ideas into words. Writing a novel requires a calm and centered approach, and a strong sense of purpose. Novels are usually between 60,000 to 80,000 words, but established authors may write longer novels. Shorter versions of novels, also known as novellas, may range between 20,000 to 40,000 words. Short stories average 2,500 words, but may extend to 20,000 words. Writing a thesis or dissertation is critical for a graduate student, but most graduate students fail to write their dissertations because of lack of structure. Dissertation writing requires a solid foundation, where words are unique and directed at a specific audience. Writers understand that the language or word usage should be concise, simple and direct, creating pace and supplying excitement, passion and inspiration to the reader.
Salesmen are paid by the number of sales. Fishermen are paid by the pound of fish. Writers are paid by the number of words. It is no surprise that writers understand word count very well. Editors of magazines or publications often demand articles of specific word lengths. You may remember that the editor of a fashion magazine in the movie How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, asked the writer to craft a similarly worded article for their readers. Writing assignments or competitions also have word limits.
The Count of Monte Cristo The world's shortest story writing competition, for example, has amazing stories that are no longer than 55 words. Authors understand that papers, essays, novels or books should have a minimum number of words. You will often hear authors boast about the length of their latest novels. It is customary to charge legal briefs by the word count. School papers often have a word limit. Word count also serves to regulate the length of documents produced for business, school or other writing assignments. Almost every student will tell you about her word count experience while writing a paper on The Count of Monte Cristo, one of most popular works of Alexandre Dumas and a must read in every schools curriculum.
The availability of word processing tools have made it easy to count words. In the absence of computers it was a challenge to count the number of words, and every writer dreamt of an easier way to determine word count. Also, there may be situations where a quick word count is needed. For example, you may want to know the word count of some articles that you just read on the web. Word count applications in computer programming are a great utility. For example, have you tried to find the count of a specific word in a document? The countofwords.com website offers an online tool for counting words. The site offers a web-based application, where you can simply paste a passage or article in a box and get the word count by pressing a button.
Writing Articles, Novels, Books or Dissertations
Most people dream of writing a book. Its not surprising that fame, credibility, celebrity status and fortune are associated with authorship. Writing also plays an important role in learning and teaching. Writing is about transforming observations and ideas into words, without disregard for grammar, spelling and punctuation. Writers understand that the process involves planning, organizing, selecting and writing words. Computers have made the process of writing easier -- it has become easier to tweak, tinker, edit and rewrite words without much effort. Writers focus on the needs of the audience, and write and rewrite words several times until they are satisfied.
The choice of words is important
Writing is about embarking on a journey of discovery, exploration and learning where new material, ideas and inspiration are transformed into words. Raw writing is usually in the form of a draft as the first cycle of writing rarely resembles the final product, even with a vision of the structure. In most cases writers have feelings or thoughts, and plunge into raw writing without knowing how words should be shaped. Words are laid down in a pile of ingredients, and structured writing shapes these ingredients into the form that gives meaning. The quickest and deepest improvements are made during freewriting, but only a handful of writers can get the right words the first time. A more common approach is direct writing where the aim is not to get the right words, but avoid losing track. Approaches such as Open-Ended Writing or Loop Writing are popular among professional writers. Writers strive for words that sound as natural as possible and fit like a well-tailored suit. Fiction writers use words based on imagination or facts, while nonfiction writers rely on facts. Good writing makes words come alive in blogs, books, essays, novels or dissertations.
Bank, R. & Glatzer, J. (2010). The Everything Guide to Writing Nonfiction. Avon: Adams Media.
Hennessy, B. (2006). Writing Feature Articles. Burlington: Elsevier.
Barrass, R. (2002). Scientists Must Write. London: Routledge.
As an exercise, copy the following and paste it into the box above to obtain the number of words: Word Only a Word - Ebers, Georg, 1837-1898; Count is a simple counting game for your kids.; Electrical Counting - Lewis,W.B.; Putnam's Word Book - Flemming, Louis A; Clicks Counter; Count Julian - Landor, Walter Savage, 1775-1864; Words for the Wise - Arthur, T. S. (Timothy Shay), 1809-1885; Moby Word Lists - Ward, Grady; Counting to Tar Beach - Faith Ringgold; On the Study of Words - Trench, Richard C, 1807-1886; The Law and the Word - Troward, Thomas, 1847-1916; Stories That Words Tell Us - O'Neill, Elizabeth (Elizabeth Speakman); french words; The Lost Word, Christmas stories - Van Dyke, Henry, 1852-1933; Counting the colors.; The Pawns Count - Oppenheim, E. Phillips (Edward Phillips), 1866-1946; Breakfast on the Kitchen Counter; Winged Words - Henry Heathcote Statham; Spiritual Life and the Word of God - Swedenborg, Emanuel, 1688-1772; The Word Soul -
H.Fielding-Hall; Count Alexandro Volta; Christmas Counter; The Revealing Word - Fillmore, Charles; Life in the Word - Mauro, Philip, 1859-1952; The word eaters - Jaroslaw Jozefowicz; LED Counter; Household Words - Dickens, Charles; The last word - MacGowan, Alice, b. 1858; Toolbar Counter; Word-primer - Swinton, William, 1833-1892; The new word - Upward, Allen; Count on Me! - Joel Anderson;Congenital word-blindness - Hinshelwood, James; Living words - Chapin, E. H. (Edwin Hubbell), 1814-1880; Count Alarcos; a Tragedy - Disraeli, Benjamin, Earl of Beaconsfield, 1804-1881; A Collection of College Words and Customs - Hall, Benjamin Homer, 1830-1893; The cynic's word book - Bierce, Ambrose, 1842-1914; Charlie Chaplin's The Count;Word pictures in rhyme - Kinsman, O. W. (Owen W.), b. 1846; Her word of honor - Macvane, Edith, b. 1878;
The Count of Monte Cristo; Counter Sheep; A word for Ireland - Healy, T. M. (Timothy Michael), 1855-1931; The Memoirs of Count Grammont; The Life of Columbus; in his own words - Hale, Edward Everett, 1822-1909; Word Histories A Glossary Of Unusual Word Origins - Wendell Herbruck; A Word In Your Ear And Just Another Word - Ivor Brown - Of course, if I had read through the books I had already bought, I would have known that my word count was too high. - The chart and second set of tabulated data indicate that the count of these same unique words also comes to a high point in the book of Alma. - My lord, said Patronio, in order that you may be enabled to advise this man wisely I shall be happy to recount, with your permission, that which happened to the Count of Provence with Saladin, Sultan of Babylon. - The Triangular Book. of the Count of St. Germain. - The count of books I read this year has been abysmally low. - Minimum length is 3500 words of your own text, not counting quotes, images etc. The count of animals was much higher than expected due to breeding. The words of the Preacher, the son of David, king in Jerusalem. My First Words Book is a clear collection of basic words found within various groupings. Felix Mendelssohn - Lieder Ohne Worte (Songs Without Words), Book 6, Op. 67: No. 3 In A Major, Op. 19/3. Big Words for Little People: , by Jamie Lee Curtis, Illustrated by Laura Cornell. Instant Word Practice Book Grades K-3. Contains center activities, spelling activities, word wall ideas, and assessment materials. Texture Words Book by Kristen Sutcliffe from New House Project Use materials with interesting textures to make a fun book for your baby. 4000 Essential English Words is a six-book series that is designed to focus on practical high-frequency words. New Worlds / New Words book launch. I don't think I've mentioned here the book launch that will be held tonight. The Everything Easy Cross-Words Book by Douglas Fink, ISBN 9781593370459 - QBD The Bookshop - Buy Songs without Words, Book 1 - You may see a very similar logic in how the Chinese use their counter suffixes (a.k.a. measure words, numeral counters). Simple online word counter, calculates the number of words in a text. ... Enter or paste your text in the field to the left and the word counter will automatically count your words.