Count syllables

Thought I’d see how well Scrivener (3.2.3 on macOS 12.2.1) helps with poetry.

Is it possible for it to count syllables; and suggest rhymes, please?


It’s barely possible for humans.

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The soft-ware does not have that fea-ture set,
And for-mal poe-sy’s time has not re-turned.
Oh, such a func-tion! You can fair-ly bet
It’s hard-er than you think to so dis-cern.

To have these things does sure-ly have its place.
I’d give my eye-teeth for that da-ta-base.


Got it. Thanks. Yes; subjective.

I ask because I own and love Scrivener. Rhymer’s Block Pro claims to be able to do both.

Scrivener can count character, words, and pages, but not syllables. I guess if the dictionary the spellchecker used gave syllables, that would be possible, but definitely not in the feature list currently. Scrivener does check for spelling and grammar in a basic way, but it doesn’t have advanced suggestions for rephrasing, etc. Having a rhyming dictionary, similar to the Name Generator, might be a cool add-on, though!

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I’ve never stopped being amazed at Scrivener’s features and how well they’re implemented.

I was thinking of an add-on as how it could be done.

I haven’t yet risked this Rhymer’s Block Pro because there are several -ve reviews on the MAS. But it claims to be specifically for poetry etc and to be able to count syllables - useful for syllabic verse :slight_smile: .

I once programmed a syllabifier in a spreadsheet. (image attached) It had a limited vocabulary and only understood root words, but as you can see it does a fair job on Shakespeare. Not much massaging required.

This was part of an elaborate spreadsheet dedicated to metrical poetry construction. You could enter a formal plan (measure, meter, stanza lengths, rhyme scheme – it also knew a few combinations of these by name, e.g. the Shakespearean sonnet) and it would set up an environment around the typing area showing the relevant plan for the lines, as well as interactively show you how you were doing. Sorry, that line should be iambic trimeter, not tetrameter. Where is your caesura?! Fun stuff, but really, who wants to write poetry in Excel?


p.s. There was also a Pantoumizer which a group of poets actually used for a bit. Given the pattern of repeated lines in that form, you can already probably imagine how it worked. Putting the repeats in for you where they belong as you went along (but letting you alter them, of course, as well).

Yes. Thanks, @gr !

I used to make my living writing - amongst other things - Perl scripts to parse text… I seemed to get quite good it it (I think).

Who would have thought - even as little as 20 years ago - that such things as your spreadsheet syllabifier would be possible? May I say, “Congratulations” on what you did? :slight_smile: .

Did you, in fact, ever use it?

There used to be a really good dictionary available for Windows called “Clever Dictionary” which did all sorts of lovely things, including rhymes.

It looks to be abandoned now, but I’m sure if you gave the developer a massive sum of money he’d be able to integrate the code etc into Scriv.