Readability statistics

One thing I’d love to see in scrivener are readability statistics on what i’m writing. There are a number of formulas around for measuring readability; they relate to the number of words per sentence, how big the average word is etc. There are a number of webpages that offer this service (e.g., but it would be fantastic to have these stats right there in my favourite writing app.

I’m studying psychology, and my thesis involves a lot of technical explanation. I want to make sure that my thesis isn’t written too densely for my marker to follow.

I cannot imagine that the worth of this outweighs its bloatiness.


Given that there are so many features in Scrivener that I still stumble upon something new now and then, I don’t really see why one wouldn’t want to add, say, a Flesh score. Maybe something similar to this I would second that request.

Here’s some more information on the score:

Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level
The Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level is an index that gives the years of education required to comprehend a document. For example, a document with a Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level score of 10 would require a reader have about 10 years (or a 10th grade level) of education to comprehend the document. The Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level is calculated using the number of words, sentences and syllables in a document, using the following equation:

(0.39 * Average Sentence Length) + (11.8 * Average Syllables per Word) - 15.59

Flesh Reading Ease Score
The Flesch Reading Ease Score indicates on a scale of 0 to 100 the difficulty of comprehending a document. A score of 0 indicates an very complex document, while a score of 100 indicates a very simple document. A Flesch Reading Ease score in the range of 40-50 would correspond to a relatively complex document that might score a 12 as its Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level. The Flesch Reading Ease Score can be calculated by using the following equation:

206.835 - (1.015 * Average Sentence Length) - (84.6 * Average Syllables per Word)

Like all readability indices, the Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level and Flesch Reading Ease Score provide estimations, and are only meant to be used as such.

aww…come on…it’s hard bloat. It’s just an extra stat in the stats window, derived from the other stats. It won’t clutter up the UI at all.

It may not be visible bloat, but would certainly be development bloat. Come on — it’s the author’s job and responsibility to write in a style suitable for the intended audience!

Sorry, but I find this discussion slightly ludicrous… :unamused:


It may not be visible bloat, but would certainly be development bloat. Come on — it’s the author’s job and responsibility to write in a style suitable for the intended audience!

I find this discussion slightly ludicrous… :unamused:


Just for the record, readability statistics are waaaay beyond the scope of Scrivener. Sorry.
All the best,

Thanks, Keith, just thought, I’d ask :wink: This software does pretty much everything, so one can easily get lured into thinking, it might also brew the coffee I need for writing :wink:

Now coffee-brewing, that is a good suggestion - you will need a USB kettle though, of course. :slight_smile:

he he :smiley:

Folks, just so we don’t get into snits about each others’ writing needs and styles, I think it would be a good idea to:

  1. Describe a need, but NOT ask for it to be a new feature in Scriv.
  2. Instead ask, “Does any software already do this?”
  3. And then in will come helpful suggestions, instead of harsh dismissals.

In this case, I recall that SpellCatcher at one time provided readability statistics. Especially that Flesch-Kincaid thingy. To some writers, that might seem pointless, but to others, not at all. Someone writing a YA book, for example. Anyway, if we observe this protocol, we’d also save Keith some time.


alright alright…i consider myself well and truly outvoted

I think the forum being labeled “wish list” mislead me…

This is too bad. I was also looking for this feature. Those who think this is “just bloat” obviously do not write for youth/teens. In Word, after checking spelling and grammar, it will give you a readability score. This is VERY helpful to those who write for children. Guess it’s stick with the ol’ copy-and-paste, but it would be very handy to have this built in. IMHO, it’s the one big missing feature.

Mark - this is indeed a “wish list” forum, but that doesn’t mean that I will implement every single suggestion - that would be impossible! :slight_smile: I seriously consider all wishes posted by users here. Some I implement, some I don’t, but I always try to take the time to explain why. And certainly don’t consider yourself “outvoted” - there is no voting system; just me and my vision of Scrivener. :wink: (EDIT: Sorry, a reread and I realise that you may have felt a little bullied by others who called your idea “bloat” - I hope not. Please don’t be put off from making suggestions in the future. I’m sure everyone appreciates that what is bloat to one person is an integral part of a workflow for someone else. I hope I’ve explained why I won’t be implementing this, though. I really do value feedback and ideas - users’ ideas have really made Scrivener into a better program.)

Danno - remember that I am just one man programming Scrivener. Programs such as Word have whole teams of programmers. It would probably take me months to add this one feature, and then only a handful of users would actually use it - and I wouldn’t be one of them! There will always be a different “big missing feature” for everyone, unfortunately. Well, except for me - Scrivener has everything I want. But then, that’s why I wrote it. :slight_smile:

All the best,

Yeah, and Word also costs a heck of a lot more. No, this was not a knock on you or your work. Just a “damn, I wish it had this one extra feature” wish on my part. If I can think of a way to make this easier with a script or a third-party app, I will post to the group because this is a feature I use daily.

Keith, the last time you spoke about AppleScript was around january. I think when you’ll have implemented it (v2.0?), a special “plugins” menu will allow a lot of phantasmagorias…