Manuscript Target word count incorrect

After restarting Scrivener on a particular project, the Manuscript Target word count in Project Targets gets reset to 5,869, which doesn’t seem to correspond to the word count in any particular document.

There are, however, over 40,000 words in the manuscript. As I click on other documents in the manuscript, the Manuscript Target word count climbs up.

This behavior is making it difficult for me to keep track of my progress, especially during each session since Session Target is being based on an incorrect Manuscript Target.

Any ideas?


It sounds like the last shutdown wasn’t a clean one, and the search index is out of date now. It’s usually pretty good at detecting when that has happened, and rebuilding automatically, but some conditions can go undetected. For performance reasons (so Scrivener doesn’t have to load potentially thousands of files in order to count them all) it uses the central search index file. Rebuilding that is an easy fix: just hold down the Option key and click on the File menu, selecting “Save and Rebuild Search Indexes”. There should be no reason to reload the project.

That did it! Thanks a lot, Ioa!

I have the same issue, but this did not fix my word count problem. I still have to go and click on/open each section to get the word count to be correct. Is there anything else to check to correct this problem?


Are you using any kind of synchronisation software, such as Dropbox? If so, please refer to this article: Using Scrivener with Cloud-Sync Services. The guidelines described in there should be followed to the letter.

If you aren’t using anything like that for your projects, then maybe close the project and locate it in Finder, right-click on it, select Show Package Contents, and remove the “search.indexes” file by hand, from the “Files” sub-folder. Now close that Finder window and reload the project.

I do use Dropbox to store my projects. I found a bunch of conflicted copies of my binder AND my search index. After cleaning all of them out, I opened the project to find that my word count is correct.

I have to say that all of my issues that I have had with Scrivener and projects have been direct results of conflicted copies of files. Note to Dropbox users - Follow the guidelines to the letter and if you see weird stuff, check for conflicted files.

Thanks for your help!

I’m having the same issue but can’t seem to find the conflicted copies that are messing it up, in either the binder or the Dropbox. Where should I look for them and do you just delete them? Thanks!