Total Word Count column in Outline not cumulative

First: I love Scrivener, thank you!

A recent issue I think.

In Outline, with several text documents selected, the Total Word Count is neither totalling, nor cumulative. It shows the same data as the Word Count column for each individual document.

If I switch the view to Scrivenings for the same selected documents, I CAN see the Total Word Count in the status bar.

It seems like a bug to me?

<Windows 7 & Scrivener>

Edited to correct mistake and add Scrivener version


I think this bug is related to/contributed to by the “Include in compile” column (which I usually have in my Outliner View)

I noticed when I duplicated 3 text files that the Outline Columns had disappeared for the duplicates (when all were selected and viewed in Outline View obviously), so I added them back.

Hey presto, the cumulative Total Word Count returned, but only for these new duplicates.

The remaining text files in the same project are still showing the same non-cumulative issue.

The new duplicated files were not to be included in the compile, so I had unticked them (simultaneously in Outline View, using Alt-Click). This led to my thought that other behaviour may have been ‘fixed’ by unticking …

So I have now looked at various methods of choosing views in Outline View, and I think what seems to ‘cause’ the flipping of Total Word Count to the buggy non-cumulative view is when the files to be viewed are selected by clicking on their containing Folder, then going elsewhere in the binder, then coming back to that same view again.

The correct Total Word Count CAN be restored in Outline View by selecting all the files; unticking the ‘include in compile’ (which restores the correct calculations), then of course re-ticking if you need them in your compile.

That’s as clear as mud now.

As a workaround, I have created a Collection, which has all the files I need to see the cumulative Total Word Count/Individual Word Count for (in my case, this is all the scenes of the novel, now viewed as one and not in their folder/plot/chapter structure). This, so far, appears to show a reliable Total Word Count, with expected behaviour.

The Total Word Count isn’t supposed to be cumulative, so the non-buggy behaviour is shown in your initial screenshot, where for a single document the Word Count and the Total Word Count are identical. The Total Word Count is intended to be the sum of the word counts of a container and its subdocuments. Thus if an item has no subdocuments, its word count and its total word count will match. The behaviour where selecting multiple documents displays the Total Word Count as a running total down the column is incorrect, and is on the bug list.

Thank you MM.

I don’t understand the expected behaviour then.

I would expect the Total Word Count to be cumulative (for the selected files - the ones shown are all text files with no sub-containers) as per the screenshot attached in this reply (See below. Taken from the collection I made in my second post above). From what you are saying, this is regarded as a bug, which would be a shame, as I find it handy!

Can you clarify?

Thanks for helping out!

The total word count works with containers to total the text of the subdocuments (and of the container, if it has its own text). So for instance, suppose you have a set up like this:

– Chapter One
---- scene a
---- scene b
– Chapter Two
---- scene a
---- scene b
---- scene c

Let’s assume Chapter One and Chapter Two are folders that don’t have any text of their own; they just contain the scene subdocuments. The word count column gives you count of an individual document’s text, so in the case of the two chapter folders, the word count will be 0. Each of the scenes will have a word count, but you may not care about how long a particular scene is, you just need to know the count for the chapter as a whole. This is where the Total Word Count comes in, by providing the summed word count of a container and its subdocuments. So if our first scene a has 600 words and the first scene b has 1000 words, Chapter One’s total word count is 1600. Scenes a and b, having no subdocuments, will have total word counts that match their regular word count–there’s nothing else to add to it.

Total Word Count thus lets you get a slightly higher level view of how your word count breaks down across the structure of your project. We’ll be adding a Total Target and Total Progress feature to work in conjunction with it, similar to the Target and Progress columns that exist now and work per-document; the Total Target will sum the individual targets of each of the subdocuments and the container and provide that for the container as a whole, so that as you work in each of the subdocuments, you’ll be progressing toward your section goal.

To get the total word count for an arbitrary selection of documents, you can select them as you’re doing and then just view Project > Project Statistics to check the selection count. You can tweak some additional options here to choose whether to include footnotes, etc. in the word count, to bring it closer to how it would be if compiled.

Thanks MM, now I see, thanks so much for taking the time to explain.

So the ‘cumulative’ count I see in my Collection will disappear (once that bug is fixed)?

It is a handy figure, for example, having some idea of how ‘far’ through a full project a certain event might be occurring (eg key plot point etc)

So it sounds as if the new Total Target & Total Progress might also provide me that functionality?

Thanks again!