Word Count, but *Each* Word Count

Dear KB:

I just found out about Scrivener through a BoingBoing link. It looks really interesting, and I expect to pick it up.

Here’s my dream wish list feature:

Does Scrivener have, or could you program for it, a word count feature that tells the writer, on some sort of table, how many times they’ve used each word in the document on which they’re working?

That is, it would actually list every word that appears, plus a number: 17, or 25,821, say.

One could list the words on this table in order of first appearance, or alphabetically, or in order of most appearances, or the least.

One could then click on a button that might highlight, in bold or in color, every use of that word in the document.

It might also allow the user to click on a given word, which then automatically sends one to thesaurus software, or a thesuarus web site, for suggestions as to alternates words one might use.

Even without the thesaurus feature, something that simply counts how many times one has used a word could be really useful for writers, especially when they’re working on long articles, or book-length projects, who want to avoid sounding repetitious in their choices.

Please: What are your thoughts?

Thanks, in advance, for them.

Produce Justice,
Harry Allen

The first part of your request is already possible, from within Scrivener: View > Statistics > Text statistics (command - option - control - s) then hit the little triangle next to word frequency.

As for each word you’ll just have to an old fashioned Find (command - f) and Find next (command - g).

Not automatically, but using Project Search (Cmd-Ctrl-F), you can search for a word, and every document containing that word will be collected in the search results, and highlighted in the editor window when you click on these search results. To see them all at once, select all of the search results, and Edit Scrivenings (Cmd-Opt-4). You can set whether or not the highlight disappears when you start editing, in the preferences, under the Text Editing tab.

Two suggestions. The first isn’t that comprehensive, but OS X has a built in Oxford American English Thesaurus. Just hover your mouse over a word and press Cmd-Ctrl-D. A little grey info box will pop up over the word and you can click the “more” button for better detail. If you have never used that before, you might need to click More, and then enter the preferences for Dictionary.app and check the Thesaurus box. I think it is off by default.

Another solution, if you use LaunchBar or QuickSilver, is to select the word and send that selection to your launcher, then sending it to an online thesaurus search.

Note, both of these work from the editor screen, not Scrivener’s word frequency feature.