Question about footnotes and the wordcount function

I am currently working on a large academic project. I have a lot of ground to cover and a limited word count allowance in which to do it, so I find myself constantly glancing down at the word count at the bottom of the screen, trying to get a feel for pace, etc.

The problem is that the footnotes are being counted as part of the word count shown at the bottom of the screen, and I can’t find any option to exclude them by default. I have a lot of footnotes, a good portion of which are fairly long, so this is significantly skewing the word count and I’m finding it a distraction.

I’ve tried accessing the word count through view text statistics, but the footnotes are included in that too. I have “exclude footnotes” checked in the project statistics option, so if I go to project stats I get the right number, but this doesn’t seem to make any difference for " show project targets", " text statistics" or the live display at the bottom of the screen - footnotes are still being included there.

I may be doing something wrong, or perhaps there’s just some theory of design at work here that runs contrary to my (admittedly often strange) expectations. Any suggestions or other information would be very welcome.

You might export to a word processor now and then to get accurate word counts of body text.
Then make a note in the Scrivener file about wordage, like this (2845)
Bean, Pages, and Word all provide word counts.

I realise there are various ways for me to obtain accurate word counts. As I said, I can already get an accurate word count (at least, for the draft as a whole) by going to “view project statistics”.

I just found it odd that there was an option to exclude footnotes from the word count in “view project statistics”, but not in “view text statistics”, “view project targets”, or the live word count at the bottom of the screen.

Essentially I am asking if it’s possible to exclude footnotes from other word counts besides “view project statistics”.

I assume that since nobody has offered a blindingly obvious solution, the answer to my question is no.

I have found a bit of a workaround, or rather a workflow adaptation, and I just thought I’d share it here in case someone else has the same question as me and does a search sometime in the future.

As I said, the project statistics word count seems to be the only place you can choose to exclude footnotes from the count. I noticed that the shortcut to view project stats is apple-option-shift-S and so I have just taken to hitting that when I want to know how I’m doing with reference to my word allotment. It took a bit of adjustment but now it’s working just fine.

Thankfully, it’s only the entire project wordcount that matters in my case, so the inability to get a footnoteless word count for individual sections isn’t that big of a deal, really.

There is no easy way to do this I’m afraid, no. In the three universities I have attended, though (not a boast - just did my MA at a separate university to my BA then trained to be a teacher somewhere else), they’ve all insisted that the footnotes were included in the word count (which admittedly I often ignored in the hope that they would not check). The trouble is that there is no easy way of excluding the footnotes from the word count without slowing things down, as it would mean extra calculations every time you typed anything…

All the best,

Thanks for the reply, Keith. I had a feeling it’d be some technical explanation, and I completely understand. Well…“understand” in the sense of general goodwill and compassion for your technical woes, not in the sense of actual comprehension. I couldn’t program my way out of a paper sack.

Perhaps Canadian law schools are just a deviant bunch in wanting the footnotes excluded from the word count, but those are the guidelines I’ve been given. I actually can’t recall the policy either at the undergraduate uni I attended here in Canada, or at the UK uni where I spent a year on exchange. I may have unknowingly been flouting the rules all along!

At any rate, as I said, it’s working fine for me now to just use the keyboard shortcut to pull up the project stats when I need a word count without footnotes. Clearly the answer is not to adapt Scrivener, but to adapt myself!

I have made a note to myself to take another look at it when I get chance, but I can’t promise anything as I think it could cause too much slowdown in typing for the live count.
All the best,

EDIT: Wait, I’ve had an idea. What about a tooltip? So, if you hovered over the statistics in the footer bar, a tooltip would appear telling you the word and character count excluding annotations and footnotes. It would take a couple of seconds to generate the tooltip for longer documents, but that would be better than a lag whilst typing and very easy to access… It should also be relatively straightforward to implement.

That would be great for this fiction writer, too. I don’t use footnotes but I do use annotations to make notes to myself and getting a word count without those notes would be very useful. Thanks! :smiley:

I’ve just implemented a tool tip that does just this for the next version. :slight_smile:

Wow, that was fast! Thanks so much. I never actually expected anything to be changed - I started this thread hoping someone would educate me on an existing feature that I simply didn’t know how to access. I assume that using a tooltip format solves the slowdown problem, because the count would only have to do the work to subtract the footnotes when you actually triggered the tooltip. That’s quite clever.

My heartfelt thanks! I use a various pieces of great Mac software from a lot of great developers, but you’re head and shoulders above everyone else. When you do get your book published (and you will!) I will force everyone I know to buy three copies. Your publisher will call you up and inform you with confusion that you seem to be really big in the Colonies, despite the total lack of any press efforts on their part.

Now my only worry is being accosted by ruffians from the suggestions forum, upset because this feature got a tooltip but theirs didn’t…

Ha, no problem. :slight_smile: Yes,the tooltip solution gets around the potential slowdown. Actually, this post came at the right time, too, as I’ve been updating the Compile Draft code and it made me realise that if you have a word count (<$wc> tag) in your draft, when it gets compiled and printed or exported with the actual word count replacing the tag, the count will include footnotes. So in the new Compile Draft sheet, there is now an option for whether or not to include footnotes (and annotations, which were never included) in the printed word/character count.

Thanks for your kind words!

All the best,

RUFFIANS!! :open_mouth: WHERE!!