A more specific wordcount target icon?

Hi Keith

I’ve been using Scrivener for my fiction for a couple of years now (looking forward to version 2!) but recently I’ve switched to a Mac at work (yay!) and started using Scrivener for editing articles for our newsletter, specifically because the word count display and targets are so handy.

Anyway, what I was thinking is that the current “below = red, above = green” icon is a bit simplistic. If you are aiming for a specific word count, whether for an article, a short story or whatever, too many words is just as bad as too few. What I would find really useful would be if the ‘green zone’ extended say 10% either side of my target, with 0-90% being red (for consistency with the current interface) and 110%+ being a third colour: perhaps blue or yellow. As a programmer I’m guessing that this would be fairly trivial to add - a couple of lines of code, maybe, and an extra graphic?

Ultimately it would be nice for the size of the “comfort zone” to be configurable, but that would be icing on the cake.

What does anyone else think? Do you simply aim to hit or exceed a word count, or are you using Scrivener to edit down as well as up?

I use the word count feature in both directions, but mostly to help me to edit work down to a maximum wordcount. However, I quite like the progress indicator just as it is, because the colour change moment is so precise, and all I have to remember is whether I am hoping for it to change to red or to green. If I intend to take advantage of the 10% leeway I have on some projects, then I simply set that adjusted limit as my target.

I actually just started a project to work on my short, erm, pieces. (Most of them are more slice-of-life bits rather than actual stories–that or silly sappy things I did as a teen.)

I was thinking it would be useful to be able to set the target to be a word limit, though that range idea of yours also sounds neat. Not that I actually expect any of this to be implemented. :mrgreen:

In version 2.0, the progress bar changes colour instead of the target icon, and you can set the start and end colours. So although by default it goes from red to green, you could have it go from green to red, to indicate that you are getting close to (or have gone over) the limit.
All the best,

I am a recent convert from Storymill. I became accustomed to their Progress Meter in the toolbar. I read somewhere on the site that you did not want to add that feature, but could you at least make it an option under customize toolbars? That way those of us who have grown used to having the meter to mark our progress can install it and others who have not can choose not to? Thank you.

This discussion is exactly on topic for me, and still current. Present colour changes as implemented works for me up to word limits for chapters, sub-sections within chapters etc. BUT I really want it to suddenly flip colour (to red for me - but eg colour blindness) as it goes over-limit - subtle changes over the limit (in same way for under-limit) could be ok but in my case there isn’t much over limit slippage available, so not a big deal if it is a sudden flip. That may not work for others, but then slippage would need to be an editable property, wouldn’t do me much good if it went from green to red at 200% target length - cheers, Malcolm

Wow, reviving a seven year-old thread - you may win the forum record for thread necromancy! (Not that there’s anything wrong with that - we have no strange and arbitrary rules about that sort of thing around these parts.)

Do you mean something like this?

If so, this is coming with the next major (paid) update of Scrivener (progress bar colours are of course customisable in the Preferences).

All the best,

Well I like to weigh up my replies carefully … trouble is it takes such a long time writing individual replies to junk mail :slight_smile:

Yes that would more then do the trick - as long as colours also [progressively] change as one [approaches and] goes over-limit so one can quickly scan progress which is my more usual battle when solid green solid bar default is the same for being exactly on target or 50% over. Happy to beta test.

Cheers, Malcolm

actually a global [choice] of % over-run rather than word over-run would be more useful for me, although maybe not for others. Let me explain. When writing a chapter I’d have a total target size, but it would be broken into lots of logical bits that might get shuffled in, out and between chapters as the creative process that Scrivener aids takes hold. I’d put a word target onto each of those, might only be a a couple of hundred words. Then as I write I’d be checking the wordcount and the useful shading of colour that Scrivener does, looking at individual items but also the bars and total words of the chapter to make an assessment of how much the over and undershoots of the components actually matter in the greater scheme of things. I can imagine setting a global % over-run, but setting a word over run could end up being meaningless for individual items that may be short or long, or require individual adjustments for every item - hope this is useful.