Can some one help me with word count?

Sorry to bother you, but I’m new to Scrivener and knee deep in nanowrimo.

I’m trying to just get the overall word count for my document and what I’m getting out of Scrivener doesn’t seem right.

In Scrivener I click on the binder and click Edit Scivenings and I get a word count of 11,466.

But I’ve checked all of the pages that are “included in manuscript” and come up with a more reasonable total of 8603.

That’s a huge difference of 2863. Wow.

So I went back through the chapters looking for any document with 2863 words and I can’t find one.

Nor can I find any document marked to include in manuscript that shouldn’t be - I went through it twice.

Can someone please help me?

Thank you!!!


I’m a bit fuzzy on the details, but I’ll try to help.

When you ‘click on the binder’ what exactly do you click?
Do you have a tree-structure of your files?

Where exactly do you get that other word-count from?
I’m guessing ‘Project Targets’?
Have you checked 'Project Statistics? What does that say?

I’m trying to figure out what exactly you do, so hopefully, I can reproduce it a bit and we can figure this out :slight_smile:



Do you have annotations in your files?

I wonder if one of the counts may be including them, and the other excluding them - although I cannot remember which is which and do not have my copy of Scrivener.

Try searching the forums for word counts, or reading the help file - you may find an explanation of what is included and what isn’t in each case.

Oh yea! Thank you for trying to help me!

Okay, I actually click on the manuscript which I have renamed as the title of my “novel”

Then I click on Edit Scivenings and look at the “Words” that appears at the bottom of the Title Page, which is what is currently displayed.

Where is Project Targets?

I found Project Statistics under the View menu and I see that it has 2 more words in the word count than the “Words” that I’m seeing at the bottom of the title page that I referred to above.

I have a number of folders - most of them are for holding chapters or scenes.

Some of them are for Locations or for Character Descriptions and for the documents in those folders I have marked them to Not be included in manuscript. I thought that would keep them out of the word count.

Please ask any other questions that you need and thank you for being willing to help me with this wonderful program.


Yup, that’s the culprit. Since the Project Target, and the footer word count in the editor are all real-time (they update while you type), they do not do automatic removals for things like annotations and documents that have been checked off as not being included in the Draft. Good rule of thumb is to not use Edit Scrivenings for word count except as a general guess. Project Statistics will always be the most accurate since it has the most flexibility. The most accurate will of course be Compiling the draft and then counting the words in the resulting document.

Keep in mind, small discrepancies will exist between counters. Some count things that other programs do not consider to be separate words. The NanoWriMo counter script is notoriously forgiving, so if you hit 50,000 in Scrivener, you should be safe at the end of the month.