Typed words not being counted

I use the Project Word Count dialog regularly, setup with a deadline, etc. Noticed a problem today that I’ve not noticed before.

I have the Project Target Options configured to reset the counter at midnight. I opened Scrivener this am and neglected to open the Project Targets dialog. Typed a couple hundred words, then opened the dialog. The counter for the day was still at zero – it hadn’t counted anything I had typed before I opened the dialog. It did catch anything I typed after opening the dialog.

As a little test, I then closed the dialog, typed a few words, and re-opened the dialog. The words I’d typed were counted, as I expected/hoped. So it appears the issue is related to counting words typed after a midnight reset and before opening the counter dialog for the first time.

I will check tomorrow morning to see if the problem is consistent and repeatable; will let you know.

Jim Hopkins

Did you get a chance to test this out again and did it fail to count as per the last time?


Sorry for the delay in responding. I couldn’t initially reproduce the problem, but I think I’ve figured out now what was (and is) really going on. The “good” news is that the problem is reproducible.

The situation:
I compiled a subset of my manuscript and the Word Counter Draft Target updated to show the number of words in the items I’d selected to compile. This, as I understand it, is the expected behavior.

But, the word counter doesn’t increment when I type in new text. Doesn’t make any difference where I am in the manuscript – I type and the draft count and the session count both stay stuck at the point they were before I did the selective compile.

If I now go back to the Compile dialog and option-click to select all elements of the manuscript, then Option-Save, and return to my manuscript, both counters work as expected.

A couple of things to note:

–When I “fix” the problem by selecting the entire manuscript for a compile, the Draft counter updates to reflect whatever words I typed while the counters were frozen.

–But the session counter does not update. It remains at the “frozen” level and begins counting again from that point.

I can reproduce this behavior at will.

Hope this isn’t too confusing.


Okay, based on this information I think you are just describing expected behaviour. By default, documents which have been set to be excluded from the compile will not be counted as being a part of the draft. This because that checkbox is really meant to be a “hard” setting—something you would only ever switch off for stuff that is definitely not ever going to be a part of the output. Things like chapter notes, old revisions of sections and notes to your editor are potential candidates for how this feature could be used.

If you want to merely narrow down the compiled output to a single section, a much better tool to use is the drop-down menu at the top of the Contents table in compile. Make sure everything is checked off to be included, and then use the drop-down to select the sub-folder that you wish to export. Another alternative to using sub-folder selection (especially if you do not organise sections into containers) is the “Current Selection” choice. You can just select the chapters you wish to compile in the Binder, call up the compile interface, and then set the top drop-down to “Current Selection”.

The way all of this is rigged up by default should be more responsive to what you are tracking with targets. You can set the Draft counter to ignore the “Include in Compile” checkbox, but this cannot be switched off for the session counter (for performance reasons).

If I read this correctly, that is normal behaviour. The session counter merely counts what you type within the scope of what it reacts to. If you temporarily type outside of that scope (or change the scope via the compile settings), it won’t count for a while, and will resume counting once those conditions change. It doesn’t keep track of areas it is specifically told not to count, in the off chance that you may change the settings later—if that makes sense.

Thanks for the detailed explanation. I’m sure you are right – the program is working as expected (just not by me, until this exchange).

Amazing how long I can use Scrivener and still not understand some of the subtleties.

I’ll change how I select my subsets as you suggest to avoid the issue.

Thanks again,