How to not count RETURN/ENTER as a character?

return (enter) is not a character, why count it as a single character?

Well, of course, there is an important sense in which CR is a character on a computer just like any other.(ftnt) So, perhaps the point (if I have sussed it out correctly) would be safer put something like this: when you go looking for a character count for your text you do not expect the carriage returns to be counted in. So, why are they. (I gather you have deduced that they are being counted. I have not checked this.)


ftnt: When plain text is stored there is a character 13 everywhere a Return goes. In RTF, there is a code representing it instead (/pard). And other formats may encode it differently. However, our expectations of a character count function are presumably not keyed too closely to these differences in internal storage — after all MS’s RTF could have chosen to encode text as spans between instances of ‘e’, so ‘sneaky’ would be represented as ‘{sn}{aky}’. What all encodings of CR have in common is the need to represent where the “carriage return” goes.

Returns take up space both on the screen and on the hard drive, and they take both effort and a keystroke to enter. Why wouldn’t they be counted?


I’d say that’s a character between those two lines. Otherwise it would be “linebreak”. And if you write it as “line break”, you’d count the space as a character, wouldn’t you? So why not the return?

Indeed, one might even argue that in its standard representation (as a carriage return) it takes up more space than any other character. You are really laying on those column inches with them CRs. On these grounds, we have the most reason to count CRs.


Perhaps the OP was thinking of “characters” in the sense of letters and numbers. But then why not ask about spaces and punctuation marks? I suppose it all comes down to thinking about what “character count” is generally used for.

Thank you. I write in Chinese language, a single chinese character count one character, and we don’t use space in chinese language, so count a enter feels count air as a character, that’s feels strange. I don’t know if I can express my concern properly in English, but as I know, others writing software, they don’t count Enter and Return (at least when i entering chinese character).

Mod note: Duplicate posts deleted.

In that case, try subtracting the number of paragraphs given by Scrivener.

Thank you. I write in chinese language. As I know, others writing software don’t count return as a character, like Office Word, Page, even in iA writer (I just test them for this). Chinese language don’t use space, so when count return as a character, feels like count air as character, that’s strange.

Thank you, sir. I don’t know what “linebreak” means. I write in Chinese language, we don’t use space in our language, count return feels like count air as a character, that’s feels strange. Others software such as Word, Page, iA writer, they don’t count return.

If a line break “counts” as a character (which it is on a technical level, but that’s not the point)… imagine printing out 10,000 pages with nothing but 30 line breaks on each. That would be a novel. Or a huge stack of nothing. Which one is it?

That’s why we don’t measure books in terms of characters … and why I don’t see why it matters if returns count or not.

I think it’s interesting on a philosophical level. What counts (pun intended) are words, that’s true. Words are based on characters. But you can’t construct words with linebreak “characters”. Which means you could enter a lot of characters and still end up with no words at all. Ain’t that strange.

Blank books are a big seller, I think, or they used to be.

My apologies. In my totally Western view of the world it didn’t occur to me to consider languages such as Chinese.

If that is how characters are counted in Chinese, then I guess it would make sense to add an option to Scrivener to change the way it’s counting spaces for such languages.

Yes, Sir. I probably would post a suggestion to developer, ask them to consider about chinese writing style. Thanks again.

You can already click the stats at the bottom of the editor to get the count without spaces, this includes line breaks of any kind. This isn’t done in the live counter for performance reasons, on the Mac.