Compiled & Manuscript Word Counts Don't Match?

When I select my entire manuscript and look at the “Selected Docs” tab under Statistics, it shows 72,408 words. But under t he “Compile” tab, it’s showing 72,522 words, 114 more than what I think it should be. Right now, only my manuscript is included in compile, I double checked. So I’m not sure where these extra 114 words are coming from. I talked to a couple other people with the same problem.

Footnotes ?

Anything that is actually not in the editor but set in the compile format to be included/added at compile.

Also check if your options match for the two: (Mine don’t)

FWIW, the 114 words is a .15719% difference. It would be great if you can find it, but that is such a small number it probably isn’t worth your time looking for it. My current WIP is 112,376 words and I have some document that is rolling around in there that is 24 words long. Damn if I can find it. At .02135% difference, I long since quit looking for it.

As @Vincent_Vincent said, your statistics options can change the reported word count. The word count of your final output document will also change as the Compile command adds headings, potentially evaluates replacements, and so on. Moreover, different pieces of software use different counting algorithms, so the number reported by Scrivener may not be the same as the number reported by Word or another tool.

If the exact word count is important, you should confirm the count in your final document using whatever tool you and your editor have agreed on.


True, it is such a small difference. I’m part of a competition that goes off word count, so sometimes I accidentally submit the wrong WC and it confuses myself and the moderators. A couple other people had the same issue too, so I got more curious. Not a big deal though, my engineering brain just wanted to figure out why haha.

Thanks everyone! I tried setting my options to match compiled and selected, but still no change. I tried to post a screenshot but for some reason I can’t figure out how to do that, so sorry!
It’s not a big deal, maybe the code for the compiled word count and the selected documents word count is a bit different.

If your ID has permissions to upload, in the reply box there is an icon (as shown in the attached). That feature is available to ID’s that have sufficient priviledges of “trust”. I don’t remember the details of the algorithm but is based on number of posts, time since creation and perhaps others. Just give it a little bit to allow uploads.

If two counts are different by less than 1%, neither one of them is wrong. That’s the considered opinion of a PhD mathematician.

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In what format are you submitting your entry to the competition? Word doc? Txt doc? Copy/paste into a browser?

If you’re using some other format, particularly if you’re using Word, then you should use the word count determined by Word as your submitted word count and not Scrivener’s. I’m suggesting this because Scrivener uses a different word count algorithm than Word.

If you are copy/pasting your entry into a browser at the competition’s web site, than the word count will be what’s calculated by the tool the competition uses, which, again, will probably be different from Scrivener’s.