Discrepancy with Writing History and Project stats

Today after finishing my writing for the day, I noticed that there was a discrepancy between the numbers that Scrivener was giving me for my current draft. When I’m writing, I’ll check the Project Targets to see how I’m going between writing sprints, but I’ve been checking the Writing History at the end of my writing sessions to make note of how it’s gone for the day, and that’s where I noticed the difference.
The total word count for today and yesterday are wrong under Writing History, and I’m not sure why. I’ve got all my draft documents checked for “Include in compile”. Both Project Targets and Statistics have my Draft count at 15,873 currently, but writing history stays 15,020.
I know it’s only 853 words, but I can’t find where they’re being missed from.

I’m currently running Scrivener for Windows Version: 3.1.1.0, on Windows 10.

Welcome to the forum!

Since you’re using project targets, you might check the “Options” within the Project > Show Project Targets panel. Within the Options panel, the Session Target tab offers a couple of choices regarding deleting text and including material written anywhere. Perhaps one of those settings is a factor here.

You might also want to review Section 20.1 of the Scrivener manual, which drills down into the specifics of the settings in Writing History, Project Statistics, and the other goal-tracking tools.

And finally, reviewing the settings chosen in Project > Statistics may also help determine what has caused the differences in those numbers.

With the total being over 800 words, my first thought is that one of your documents isn’t being counted. Or, perhaps some comments or notes are excluded from your word counts.

If reviewing those settings doesn’t help, please let me know.

I’ve checked through the settings and the manual like you said.
In the Outliner I added the Total Words and Include in Compile columns - I checked that all my Draft documents are checked to include (they are), and added up the word counts to double check the numbers - I also got 15,873.

In the Statistics settings, I’ve got it counting footnotes (not that I have any), counting subdocuments, counting all documents, and both “exclude” options are unchecked. I get the same number if I go by the Compiled tab, or if I select my “Draft” folder in the binder and go to the Selected document tab - 15,873.

For Project Targets, I have it only counting compile documents. I don’t have “Show Overrun” checked. Under Session Target. I don’t have the “Allow negatives” checked, because I’m not sure what that means? I have it reset the session count at a set time each day, and allow writing on the day of deadline. The other boxes are unchecked.

Writing history says that for the 11th Nov, I wrote 1674 words in Draft, and 3 in Other, and that in Total for the month I’m at 15,020. (I tried to post a screenshot, and was advised that I couldn’t embed media - not sure if it’s because I’m new to the forum, or because this is a reply).
I’ve been trying to figure out what length of sprint and time of day work best for me, so I wrote down how many words I got during the times that I was sprinting yesterday. I know that I wrote at least 2195 in draft documents, yet for some reason, the writing history is saying 1674? I know what the 3 in other documents is - I have a document for place names - I made a note that I’d used one for a place.

Could changing between PC and Laptop contribute to this? While I did this yesterday (the 11th) I didn’t do that on the 10th, and had the same thing happen then.

Ah yes, being a new user would prevent you from posting a screenshot. It’s a security measure to prevent spammers from using bots.

Have you compiled any sections of your project recently? Perhaps you compiled a chunk of your project and then added more text later? If so, then the statistical data you’re seeing is likely based on the chunk of text that was compiled. If you compile again with all of the text selected, that should update the word counts.

You say that you’re sure you wrote 2,195 words in your draft documents. Is that number coming from that specific document’s word count? Also, did you delete any documents that were a part of your project? Or make extensive edits during that day’s writing, which might have involved cutting a large chunk of text?

I ask because the writing history is based on new content added; however, that number will be reduced if a user deletes a lot of text. In other words, it is possible in Scrivener to have a negative word count in writing history if a lot of material was deleted.

Switching between computers might also cause some differences in what’s being reported, depending on each computer’s Statistics settings.

However, I do not advise opening your project on two computers at the same time to compare their settings. Having a project open on multiple computers can cause corruption or lost data.

Instead, you might use screenshots from the one computer to compare the settings on the other. That way, you can check that both are accounting for the same information.

If the differing writing history issue continues after you’ve checked those items, please let me know. I’d like to pinpoint the cause of the differences you’re seeing.

I haven’t compiled my draft manually, but when I hit the statistics button is does say “compiling” - that’s the only way that it would have been compiled.

The 2195 was across multiple text files (scenes, chapters, whatever you want to call them) within the one scrivener file. I didn’t delete anything - I tend not to do edits while writing first draft, especially what would amount to a third of what I wrote. - I’ll move it into a folder within the draft that I’ve got for partial texts - either thoughts on what I want to include but I’m not sure where, when, or how yet, or notes for things that I’ve already got but haven’t figured out how to retrofit the new stuff.
If I deleted stuff, it would’ve been as I was writing - just backspacing a couple of words, and swapping them out for something else.

I just checked on my laptop, the writing history is the same on that.
I’m confused, because I haven’t used any other document, I’ve not been editing or deleting much more than just spelling corrections - I’m doing this as NaNoWriMo, I’m using the strikethrough advice that I think was on a scrivener blog post. So all of the words in my “draft” were written on or after November 1st, yet the two totals scrivener is giving me is different. Even if I deleted a bunch of words, causing the drop for Writing History, there would still need to be 800 somewhere for the draft total to be higher?

I selected the Draft folder, and went to project statistics → Selected documents, took a screenshot of that, then took a screenshot of the Writing history.


In your screenshot showing your Project > Statistics data, the data being shown is the Selected Documents tab. However, it might be more helpful to compare the “Compiled” tab with the Writing History data. How do those two align?

I also noticed in your screenshot showing your Binder that Scrivener’s trash appears to have a document and a folder in it. How many words are in those files? Those deleted items could be skewing the data those two tools are comparing.

You said your process when writing is to have a folder where you’ll drop items that you’re not yet sure have a home in the larger project. Are all of those documents being included in compile?

Also, are any of those items handled as notes within the Inspector Pane, instead of as text within the documents?

That’s one of those settings I would check on the Project > Statistics > Options panel because I’ve had those kinds of notes skew my word count in my projects too.

If you want to include a screenshot of your Project > Statistics > Options panel, I’d gladly review it to see if it can offer insights into this discrepancy.

I’ve included screenshots of all 3 tabs of the Project Statistics with everything in the binder selected, plus one of my writing history with the Project Targets next to it.

The word count for all files only shows when going to the Selected Documents tab, and is an increase of 269 words.

The folder for other items is the one under Draft called “Other stuff”, and the text files have the checkbox marked to be included in compile.

I’m not sure what you mean by this bit:

I have some things in notes in the inspector, like this:
Inspector note
but they’re just little notes for me to remember things, I didn’t think it tracked the notes? I try not to use them unless it’s for something specific for the text file it’s related to, because I don’t know if you can see the notes for multiple at a time, like when looking at two scenes at a time, or if it’s possible to pull all the notes out into a file or something? I haven’t looked into it, it’s a low priority at this point.

Please let me know if you need to see anything else that could help troubleshooting this, or if there’s anything I can do to troubleshoot. It’s a weird one…




Thank you for those screenshots. I appreciate it.

You expressed some confusion when I asked if any of your writing was in notes because you thought that Scrivener excluded notes from its statistics.

A user can choose whether Scrivener includes footnotes, comments, and annotations in its statistical data or not via the Project > Statistics > Options tab. It’s one of the reasons I wanted to see that screenshot, in case those checkboxes might be affecting the data you’re seeing.

In looking back at previous help tickets involving writing history issues, I found some older reports where storing projects to Dropbox might result inaccurate writing history data.

Since I’m not sure which version of Scrivener you’re using or if you’re on a Mac or a PC, I’m not positive that this next suggestion will correct the issue. However, it could be worth trying if you’re using a cloud server to store your project.

If you move your project so that it’s saved locally to your hard drive, does the writing history issue correct itself? You might need to keep your project on the local drive for a day or two to see if that corrects the issue.

Please let me know if you give that a try and what the result is, if any.

Sorry for the delayed reply I’ve been having issues with nerve damage - sorry for the brief response, typing has been causing some flare up at this moment in time.
I’m using Scrivener 3 for Windows on 2 Win 10 devices. I’m not using dropbox. I’ve got the files saved on my desktop, and when I finish a session, I manually upload them to my cloud save (ProtonDrive - part of my mail client), and use that to manually transferring files between the two.
Moving the files doesn’t change the writing history.

I am sorry to learn that you’re having issues with nerve damage. I hope the flare-ups settle down soon.

In reading back over our earlier discussion, I see that I haven’t suggested using Scrivener’s File > Save & Rebuild Search Indexes command yet. Sometimes that works when the word count goes out of sync suddenly.

If that does not correct the issue, then opening a help ticket so we can review the project might be worth considering. If you’re interested in taking that step, you can use our contact us page to do so.