Word Count at 4135 for a brand new project

Over time, I’ve tweaked my novel template for what I need. I’m always on deadline with one of my publishers, so I don’t have time for something to not work - LOL.
Anyway, I opened new project for next manuscript and it’s showing that there are 4135 words in the project. I’ve gone through the whole binder - it’s not showing where these 4135 words are - it’s showing 0 everywhere except if you click on the draft folder it shows that as the total and the project targets show that. I need accurate word count. Please help? My brain is not happy with the project targets being off.

And I should say - that every time I click on New Project - it’s doing the same thing. So infuriating. Help?

If you view the Draft folder in Scrivenings mode, what do you see?

You can also view the Draft folder in Outline mode, then enable the word count column in View → Outliner options.

If every new project created from that template has the same number of words, then they are in the template somewhere. For that many, I would guess they’re leftover from the project you used to create the template.

It says 4135 but there’s NOTHING there

Which specific document has the 4135 word count? Open the disclosure triangle(s) in Outline view to see the whole hierarchy.

One possibility is that the text is there but invisible, for instance if it’s formatted as white on white. Trying to make a selection in the “blank” area should reveal the text in that case.

disclosure triangles? In Windows? I haven’t used that before. I don’t see it anywhere.

it’s also showing zero in every folder. So where are these 4135 words?

Have you tried a project search or quick search for a small word like “a” or “the” to confirm that none of the documents have text that blends into the background?

That would be my first thought to see if there’s some document that wasn’t cleared out correctly when I made my template.

Since I’ve left text in a template before, it’s usually one of the first things I’ll check.

I already checked all that.

Have you tested compiling this project to see what’s in an output file?

let me try that now :slight_smile:

The only words in the entire thing are chapter headings (66 words). I compiled from the template I made.
So why on earth does it show 4135 words in Scrivener???

Thanks for testing the compile. I appreciate it.

Without having a copy of the template to review, I’m not sure why it’s behaving that way.

Would you be willing to open a help ticket and send a ZIP copy of this project for us to review?

You can send an email to: scrivener-win@literatureandlatte.com to open a ticket.

Yes. I restarted and opened a new project again - I can see three places where it shows there are words. But there are none. So. Weird.

It may just be that there’s a faulty search file in the project template. If you run File ▸ Save and Rebuild Search Indexes, does that correct the word count?

Thanks so much for the suggestion, but it didn’t work either.
I opened a ticket and support couldn’t figure out the issue either. Such a weird, crazy, fluke, I guess.

Try with a blank project or a different scrivener project template. Are you set to count text anywhere? Could the words be buried in the inspector notes? And what color is the text?

Sorry I didn’t say this—it’s not always necessary, depending on the issue—but after doing the Rebuild, close and reopen the project so that it’s definitely drawing from the updated file rather than some kind of cache. The word count should be correct then.

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If rebuilding the Search Index doesn’t fix it, here’s something to try:

Close the Scrivener project.

Using Windows Explorer, navigate to the project .scriv folder.

Drill down to & open the Data folder, which should look something like this:

Search for *.rtf. Click on the Size column header to sort the results in descending order.

Open the files one by one to look for the culprit(s) that contain(s) text.

If you find any, I would not edit them outside Scrivener. Instead, copy some of the text into another file, perhaps Notepad, then close the .rtf file. Open the Scrivener project and use Project Search to look for the text you copied and delete the text from Scrivener. Do the same thing for all the .rtf files in which you find text.

Hope that helps,


I tried that one too. Still there. Scrivener support was great - but they were even stumped. My husband always says “if something’s gonna happen, it’s going to happen to Kim” and I guess this is just one more instance. :slight_smile: