[NB] counting project target on duplicate

I use a special section type “past” for diary entries, which are part of my actual book.
There are a lot of diary entries within the normal text flow of the book, so every time I need a new entry, I just duplicate one of the older entries. This keeps section type, binder icon and metadata and I only have to move it to the right position and change the text within. Works great.
But right now I recognized, that the daily word count in the project target is not updated by doing this.
It counts the duplicate correct within the overall statistics, but not in the word count of the day. This seems really strange to me.
This has nothing to do with the individual section type, but hits all binder documents and all section types. You can easily reproduce that behaviour by opening the project target window and duplicating one of the documents in the binder.
Is this a bug oder did I miss something in the settings?

Have you thought of creating a folder/document template for your “past” documents. It can have any boilerplate and metadata entries/type set in the template. Do that, and when you need a new diary entry, you just choose Project > New from Template > … and get to work on it; no need to move things round, delete existing text, etc.

I don’t know whether there’s a shortcut on Windows, or how it will affect your word count, but It should make things easier.

HTH :slight_smile:


Thanks Mark,
this sounds like a solid idea, I will give it a try.
Nevertheless there should be correct counting of duplicated files, shouldn’t it?

I’ve never needed to use the counters, so I can’t really comment. But I hope using a template might go some way to resolving your problem.



The session count does not include words added via duplicating a document or using New from Template, the idea being to focus as much as possible on new words actually typed during the session rather than artificially inflating the progress toward the daily word count goal. It’s probably a toss up–while some people are adamant about these not being included, I can understand some people might want that text included for however they track their daily word goal.

That said, it sounds like what you’re trying to achieve with your setup is less about words in the document and more that the metadata is set the way you want it? In that case, I strongly second Mark’s suggestion of using a document template: that’s exactly what this tool is designed for, and you can skip entirely the steps of deleting unwanted text (or risking accidentally deleting in the wrong document). You can also create it exactly where you want it rather than having to drag it into position after the fact.

I don’t like the idea being told by the program what to be counted. It is my own decision, even if I, for any reason, decide to cheat.
Perhaps make that a decision by the user? Simply add another checkbox into the options if everything should be counted or only “newly typed” letters.
Don’t get me wrong: I see the reason for the fact that a duplicated file is not counted in the moment of duplication. But at least every letter added there should of course being counted.

This is true, I should better use that instead.
But above you say “New from Template” isn’t counted either? What does that mean?

Template documents can contain text in the editor, so new documents created from the template will start out with that text. As with duplicating documents, that text already in the document is not added to the session word count. In both cases, any new text you type will be counted.

This is not true, and this is why I reported it as a bug.
Newly typed text in a duplicated file is not counted in session count, only in statistics.

It is true. Just tried it, and it works fine for me.
Are you sure you have the Project Target settings properly set up?
Is the document in the Current Compile group?
Is the document set to be included in compile?

austriaka, could you provide the steps to reproduce the issue? In my tests this is working as expected, but perhaps I’m misunderstanding the problem or where you’re checking the results. If I create a new project and type five words in the first Draft document, then duplicate that document, at that point the session count is still five, not ten, but if I type another word in the duplicated document, the session count in Project Targets goes to six.

As krastev noted, there are a few settings under the Project Targets “Options” that can affect what text in the project is counted. How do you have the “Session Target” tab set up?

Hi Jennifer,
thanks for your answer. I guess, I found the issue.
I just started from zero today and the test was the first thing I did, so the session count was zero and this revealed the problem.
I duplicated the diary entry which is about 250 words long. Counter stays at zero. Okay.
I change the date of the entry and delete the text beneath. Counter goes to -247. This is totally not okay.
I write a new entry for this day, say, 230 words. Counter is at -17, although I wrote 230 brand new words in this session.
This is ridiculous. If you decide not to count the words on duplicate (what is totally okay for me), then you cannnot count the words negative which I delete on the other hand. You simply always have to handle the old text as zero count, no matter if it written or deleted.
Or you must take the duplicated text into the session count, then you can substract it from the session count when it is deleted.
But you may never ever mix that, ignoring it on adding but subtracting it on deletion. This leads to endless trouble as you can easily see!
BTW: I noticed, that the session count is not updated when I move a file into the trash. This doesn’t make sense as well.

No answer and still “No Bug”?

Sorry, I’m not always around the forum on the weekend, and my internet provider went down yesterday.

Overall though, I think the word count tool here is just not complex or nuanced enough to achieve what you’re after. It’s counting text that is added or deleted within the editor, and that’s basically it. If an item is duplicated or imported or created from a template, that new document is no different from any other document, and Scrivener can’t treat its text differently so that deleting it in the editor doesn’t count. You could deselect the “Allow negatives” option in the Session Target options so that if duplicating the document and then deleting the duplicate’s text were the first thing you did in a session, you’d be fine–you’d be at 0 when you began typing–but that’s just taking advantage of the settings and timing to achieve the outcome in that particular case.

There may be other tools that will work better for what you want to achieve. Using document templates as previously mentioned would allow you to create a new document with all the metadata settings but no text that has to be deleted. (If you want to use the template to start with text using a particular formatting, you can use a space or tab character in the template document and apply the formatting to that; deleting or overwriting a whitespace character will not drop your word count.) The Writing History tool from the Project menu keeps track of your word count per day based on the net change, so here duplicating a document with five words will increase the word count by five, deleting those will drop it back down by five, and so on. This may be more useful to you, and the information here is even exportable if you like to plug your statistics into another tool for creating a spreadsheet or graph of your data.

I’m right there with @austriaka. I’ve duplicated a text within my manuscript (for the same reasons she listed) and saw the same behavior. The word count does NOT increase when you add this document, but it DOES DECREASE if you remove the text and type over it.

It’s pretty basic math… you shouldn’t deduct what was never added. If you’re going to deduct it when it disappears, then you should add it when it first appears. Please add this as a bug to be addressed.

Because of this issue, I’ve considered simply using the word count captured in each document created that day, but this doesn’t capture any rewrites or additions I may have made to previous documents. For now, I will use the work-arounds described above, but this is a great feature that I would like to use without having to change how I work.

I wanted to add my voice so you knew that it wasn’t only one user having this issue. Thank you.

If that new document is “no different from any other document”, than please let Scrivener count it like any other document. There is really no reason to treat duplicated or imported text different to any other text. And there is no reason to count the daily session in a different way than the overall statistics.
If you really think, that you are responsible not to help people cheat on their word count, make it an option please.

To clarify my earlier comment about Scrivener not knowing the difference between a duplicated document or any other, what I mean is that the file essentially pops into existence in Scrivener’s awareness with whatever text it does or does not contain–whether it’s a duplicate with 1K words in it or a new blank document–and it’s from that point that additions or subtractions you make to text in the editor counts. As I said, the word counting here is fairly simple: it counts the text you’re adding to or deleting from the file in the editor. Maybe in the future this will be developed more extensively with additional options, but for now this is the intended design on both Mac and Windows.

As far as the draft target count vs. the session count, they are necessarily counted differently based on their nature. The draft count is just adding up the text of all documents within the draft–or all documents in the current compile session, depending on your options. It’s not keeping track of when the text was added. The session count on the other hand is meant to do exactly that: count text as you type it.