Session word count regardless of deletions

Today I wrote 1,000 words and deleted perhaps 1,000 from the existing draft. Result - the session target comes out at zero. But I did write 1,000 words and I want to be able to track that regardless of how many I delete in any given session: is this possible?

many thanks!

Hi William,

No, there’s no way of doing this. Both targets give you the aggregate word count - the number of words you have added to the project. But see David Hewson’s post here on why this is a good thing:

All the best,

Many thanks for that Keith. I’m going to go out on a limb and switch across to the Wish List…


Hi William,

There’s no need to post on the wish list given that I’ve answered here and it’s already implied that you would like this. I’m afraid there are no plans for it, though.

All the best,

Whoops sorry already posted.


A workaround that I have found useful: When you need to get rid of a lot of text, either cut and paste it into a rubbish bin document in the draft folder, or split the document to get the unwanted text into a document on its own and move that document out of the way, but within the draft folder. Either way, the net loss from the draft is zero and the progress in the session target will reflect that.

Thanks Nicka, that is indeed very useful

You could even mimic the old-school editing process by highlighting the area you want to get rid of and setting the “strike-through” font setting.

Or even more fun, use a black highlight to go for that chic “redacted” look. If you then highlight (drag the cursor over) the highlighted (colored with black) section, you’ll be able to see the original text.*

  • That’s confusing… you highlight text so that you can then highlight it… with color. Let me highlight my explanation with some nonsensical highlighting of highlighted text:

Redacted with highlighting:
Screen shot 2010-02-25 at 9.32.50 AM.png

Revealed by highlighting part of the highlighted text:
Screen shot 2010-02-25 at 9.34.55 AM.png

Spiffy… now there’s word you don’t see every day. The black highlighting is brilliant.


I actually use the black highlighter on purpose as an intended necessary part of formatting, in my novel that’s in revisions.

Something I’ll do within a scene, when I go a few paragraphs off-track then decide to try again but want to keep those in my word count (or just keep 'em b/c I’m not sure I’ll like my new tack any better), is turn that scrapped section into one big annotation. Command-shift-a makes it so easy to indicate things I don’t want showing up in the drafts that my betas see, but that I still want to see in mine. At least temporarily.

Once I reach the point in writing a chapter that I want to delete the annotations, I take a snapshot, then start deleting.

Using annotations for this is an excellent way to work for three reasons. First, you can use ghost notes to diminish the visibility of the deletions which accomplishes a similar effect as black highlighting. Secondly, you can omit annotations in word counts and compile as necessary. The only place this doesn’t work is in the footer bar, but for purposes of project statistics and session counts it works just as you’d intend. Third, it’s super easy to get rid of them once you are done. Like Caradee suggests, I snapshot before doing this as well, but you needn’t go through annotation by annotation to get rid of them, just use the Copy Without Annotations or Footnotes menu item in the edit menu, and then paste right back over the document.

So unless you are particularly fond of the government redaction look, I wouldn’t recommend using highlights for this.