A way to deal with hyphenated words’ counts

I’ve been trying to find a way to work around the way Scrivener stats deal with hyphenated words (most of the times counting them as 2 or more words, according to the number of hyphens). When writing in English this doesn’t pose such a big problem, but in Portuguese many of our verb tenses have hyphens and the way Scrivener counts them became problematic (specially when dealing with scientific articles, that many times stipulate a maximum of words).

On this matter, Keith said:

Ideally, I would love to have a preference somewhere (in Scrivener?) where I could choose to count hyphenated words as just one. But, since that doesn’t seem to be possible, I had to find a way to work around it.

So far that has been WordService from DEVONtechnologies (the same folks of DEVONthink). I included the Statistics… service on my Services menu and gave it a shortcut (see attached image). What I now do is: when needed to check the word count in a Portuguese text, I’ll select the text and hit the shortcut. A little window will popup showing the Word Services’ stats, which gives the hyphenated words as one. It works quite well and it’s fast.

Click for large view

I am, however, wondering if someone has another — equally or more efficient — way to deal with hyphenated words’ counts.

– MJ

This place where this should be set is in Apple’s Language & Text system preference pane, under the Text tab. There is a drop-down for specifying the language model to use for word breaks, but only Japanese, Greek, and “Computer” are listed. The latter makes it so some strange constructions like “one:word” are counted as one word, and is mostly useful for programmers and web developers. Unfortunately it still differentiates hyphenated words into two counts.