Learn feature for word count

Is there a way of teaching Scrivener to learn which words should be counted as one word, for example open-air? Maybe the ability to highlight a word, right click for a menu item that says “Treat as one word when doing word count”?

No, there’s no way of doing that, sorry. There’s no way it could be done, either, without slowing down typing while it checked through a list of words each time you typed something.

All the best,

What about the ability to create a customisable word list, in which the words are treated as one word, then when you highlight some text, you can click Apply Custom List to Word Count, or something like that? or make the ‘Treat as one word’ right click feature an option, so people who don’t want the slow down in typing can opt out?

Word counts differ in different applications anyway, so (imex) real-world word count requirements are almost never “on the nose” requirements.


They are if you bill by the word.

Hmm … like a translator.

Different text engines have different algorithms for word count. My take on this — not that it affects me at all, even though I edit Chinese–English translations — is that Scrivener does not produce the final version. What is output by compile is a file which needs to be opened in a word-processor, Nisus in my case but it could equally be Word or whatever, for final work on layout where necessary, check through, final editing, etc. I think one of the perception issues here is that we old lags who’ve been using Scrivener from version 1 know this, as there weren’t all the options in compile that make it possible to output what seems like a final version; we knew we had to go to our word-processor to finish it off. It seems to me that people coming new to Scrivener now, believe it’s going to produce that final version — and for simple text only projects it may well do — and seem dismayed by the thought of having to use a second program.

Scrivener has to use the word-count algorithm baked into the system/text-engine — I presume Keith has no desire, or no time, to write his own! So if I had to use word count as a measure for billing, I would run the compiled file through whatever WP counted the words the way the client would, which is likely to mean Word, and if Scrivener counts ‘word—word’ as a single word and that was causing a problem with being able to estimate a more reliable word-count on the way, I’d actually put spaces before and after the em-dash and then put in a line in replacements in compile to replace space—space with a simple em-dash. But I would still open it in the WP that matched the client’s expectations and treat the word count there as definitive. One cannot do anything about hyphens, other than not using them at all — as seems to be the modern trend … I mean it’s an extra keystroke, for heaven’s sake! :imp: — so you need to use a program that treats hyphenated words as one word or two according to client expectations.


Mr X

One time small edit. :slight_smile:

Not all writers bill by the page or by time. I bill by the word.

Am not new to Scrivener either.


Here is a work-around, in case it is useful to you. It is a simple Applescript which will count the number of hyphens in any text you copy to the clipboard. Assuming you only use hyphens to hyphenate words (and don’t use other dashes to hyphenate, e.g., to show opposition), this will tell you what quantity to add to Scrivener’s word count to get the particular count you are looking for. Assuming your Script Menu is activated on your Mac, this script could be kept always within menu’s reach when you need that value.

on run set theText to the clipboard as string set quickTitle to (characters 1 thru 30 of theText) as string set astid to AppleScript's text item delimiters try set AppleScript's text item delimiters to "-" set hCount to (the number of text items of theText) - 1 on error set AppleScript's text item delimiters to astid set hCount to "<error>" end try set AppleScript's text item delimiters to astid display dialog ("Hyphen surcount is " & hCount & " for '" & quickTitle & "...'") end run

Though personally, I am attracted to this alternative solution: get a leg up on your competition by using Scrivener’s word count and simply advertising that you give a special discount for hyphenated words! 50% off!!