[texworks] Wordcount

Mojca Miklavec mojca.miklavec.lists at gmail.com
Sat Aug 1 13:24:18 CEST 2009

On Sat, Aug 1, 2009 at 12:57, CB wrote:
> 2009/8/1 Mojca Miklavec:
>> If you need just informative word count, anything can do (copy from
>> pdf and paste into word or "wc" in command line), but if you need to
>> write an article with exactly some number of words or if you need to
>> charge a client for translation of text that's X words long ... those
>> statistics can be highly misleading and I would not rely on them.
> I can't really imagine that anyone places that much store in a word
> count. What people generally want in my experience is a ballpark
> figure, either for a whole document, or (just as often) for what
> they've added in a given writing session (generally obtained by
> highlighting the added portion). Differences are as frequently used as
> absolute numbers ("I need to trim about 300 words ...").
> It's possible that such facilities cause problems if people
> overestimate their accuracy, but I'd consider that a caveat emptor
> situation. Wordcounts, warts and all, are useful, and hence are used.

I agree. But this is one of the rare things that Word definitely does
better than TeX.

> You've given an informative summary of the difficulties involved in
> providing a word count that would be adequate for actuarial purposes.
> I'm not sure whether or not you mean to say that providing a more
> quotidian variety isn't worth doing.

No, I didn't want to say that it's not worth doing. Writing a simple
word count inside the editor is a trivial thing to do and could be
implemented easily, esp. in the new lua engine. (Just a few
regular/lpeg expressions would do.) You may not expect it to give
anything accurate though.

Or, as Daniel suggests, adding some shortcut to texcount or some other
script. Hardcoding the functionality in C(?) would hardly make any


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