Manuscript word/character count issue

I’m having a weird issue with manuscript word count in the Project Statistics window. When I open the panel, it says I have 100,840 words and 554,320 character count. I then click the “Update Printed Counts” button and after it spins for a while, it comes back with a Pages (printed) count, but my manuscript word count drops to 100,813 and character count of 554,144. Then, if I click “OK”, which closes the Project Statistics window and subsequently go back into the Project Statistics window, it displays the first amounts (100,840 and 554,320) until I click the “Update Printed Counts.”

This makes me a little nervous as I religiously record word counts every day and I’m not sure which is the accurate word count. Thoughts on this issue?

Mac OSX 10.5.8
Scrivener version 2.0.4 (7817)


This isn’t a bug (the manual explains the “Update Printed Counts” but doesn’t make this clear that this will affect word count too - we should clarify that). Basically, in order to provide an accurate word, character and page count - the exact counts of the manuscript when it is compiled - Scrivener has to compile the draft in the background, lay it out, and then perform the counts. This can take some time, obviously - as long as it takes to compile the draft for real. But often the user will just want to get a rough word count and won’t want to sit around waiting for a couple of minutes while the stats update. For this reason, once the draft goes over 100,000 words, Scrivener just works out a rough count instead - it gets the word and character count for each document in the draft and adds them together. If you click on “Update Printed Count”, that forces it to do the background compile and re-count everything from the text as it would be compiled. Unless you have very simple compile settings, that will often be a little different - the simple text count won’t include titles, if they are added to the draft, but will include any inline footnotes and annotations that might get stripped during compile, and so on.

So, if you want the exact count, click on “Update Printed Counts”. Remember, though, that when you open your compiled draft in a word process, the word count is likely to be a little different, because all word processors have slightly different word-counting algorithms (what constitutes a “word” is somewhat ambiguous for machines to determine).

Hope that makes sense.

All the best,

P.S. Note to Ioa, if you’re listening: We should really clarify this in the manual. I wonder if “Update Printed Counts” needs a different title to make it obvious this will affect word and character counts, too…Any suggestions?

Thanks for the info! This makes sense. I didn’t realize the application treated counts differently in projects over 100,000 words. The latest update of Scrivener coincided with me reaching 100,000 words and I thought it may have been an issue with a change that was put in.

Got it all sorted out now. Thanks again!