Word count disappeared from footer bar

I must have done something inadvertently that caused this.

In Scrivenings in the Editor, I have always had a word count centered in the footer bar when either a chapter, a document, or some combo is selected in the Binder.

Suddenly without warning, it’s missing in certain chapters and documents. Instead, over to the right, it says ‘General Text’.

How do I get the word count back? :thinking:

This is fiction in a converted novel format. I see ‘answers’ on the forum to others with a similar problem indicating ‘you must have entered scriptwriting mode’. I have never used scriptwriting mode and never intend to. I have no idea how to invoke it or uninvoke it.

‘Solutions’ indicate going to ‘Text’. But where the heck is that? It does not appear anywhere in the menubar, at least for whatever ‘mode’ I might be in. And this affects only a few chapters and documents, making me wonder if ‘scriptwriting mode’ isn’t some dark cul-de-sac that does not apply to this problem in this particular case. The other chapters and docs display the word count normally.

Hi Adam_Smashe.

I suspect you’ve accidentally pressed ⌘+8, which switches Scrivener into scriptwriting mode.

I have a tendency to toggle that when I’m typing too fast.

That was it. Many thanks, RuthS.

It still makes little sense why anyone writing fiction other than as a screenplay in that exact format (which Scrivener can apparently do well), such as in a novel format, would ever have any desire to drift into ‘scriptwriting mode’. Or writers of non-fiction, for that matter.

And do they need a modifier-key shortcut to jump in and out of it constantly? And why is that not in the menu? Once you finally learn that buzzword, searching for how to invoke/uninvoke it in the overly-bloated 987-page manual yields nothing—needle in a haystack.

Bottom line, for the majority of us, more trouble than feature.

I also wish the word count would remain visible in the Outliner. That could be a simple permanent change with no downside to users.

But there is a point of diminishing returns with adding more and more invokable features. The more you add, the more exponentially difficult it becomes to learn the program or invoke those features.

This is similar to the ‘remote control’ conundrum: a physical remote control wand for an A/V system, for instance, with 8 buttons on it is orders of magnitude easier to use than one with 38 buttons on it. But that conundrum also has answers and workarounds that would fit Scrivener, if considered by the creators.

Scrivener is a wonderful program created by brilliant people, no question. I’m proud as heck of them, and quite thankful. But if they want to make this program even more powerful and more intuitive and useful, they really should investigate a feature of Apple’s digital audio workstation app ‘Logic Pro’.

That program has an entirely different purpose, but it has an incredible intuitive feature called ‘Key Commands’, accessible from the menu, that allows deeply-granular customization of all available features and how to invoke them (or how to disable those not wanted).

That approach would fit Scrivener like a glove. It would give ‘Scrivener 4’ the lift in quality and usability they are likely looking for.

That keyboard command actually is in the menu under Format > Scriptwriting > Script Mode - Screenplay.

As for why there’s a keyboard command for it, I can’t speak for Keith since I wasn’t involved in the development of Scrivener.

However, I’ve seen a number of scriptwriters comment in help tickets that they regularly toggle out of scriptwriting mode to add a new general text document to their projects. That could be to aid in notes for later scenes or acts or explanatory materials to be included with the script.

I’ve also seen a few fiction writers include a short play in their projects or use scriptwriting mode for writing dual dialogue passages in their books.

As for the word count in the Outliner, you can go to View > Outliner Options and toggle either Word Count or Total Word Count to be included in the view. Or, you can right-click on the headings shown in the Outliner to add additional fields to your view.

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True, but that does not show combined word count. When you select multiple documents or chapters in the Binder, the combined word count appears in the Editor. That would be handy in the Outliner.

If you’ve selected the Draft/Manuscript root folder and then select the Outliner view, adding the Total Word Count to the view will show the combined word count for each chapter. That assumes you’re using a chapter folder structure with multiple subdocuments in each chapter.

To see the full manuscript’s estimated word count while in this view, you can hover your mouse over the Quick Search/Document Title bar in the middle of the toolbar.

Here’s a case where my somewhat disorganized way of working has a concrete advantage.

What started as a series of short stories has grown into at least one novel, plus some short stories, plus some bits and pieces that I haven’t found a place for yet. All of this is in my Draft folder, with a sub-folder that contains the novel (and sub-folders within that for chapters). Making an Outline view of the Draft folder therefore lets me see the Total Words for the novel, as well as for the individual chapters.

Hmm. That is not happening for me, RuthS, for some reason. Here’s a peek at the end of a trilogy I am writing:

I have a chapter as well as its nested documents selected in the Binder which displays all the docs that comprise that chapter in the Outliner. I have anywhere from 1.5 to 2 scenes per chapter on average, and a scene can be anywhere from 1 to 15 separate documents.

In this case, there are 3 scenes in this chapter (94, 95, and 96). I have the total word count per doc showing. (I am using the synopsis mostly just to track events on the timeline, don’t use the corkboard at all. I use Numbers in MacOS to handle that)

But I do not see the Quick Search window when in the Outliner, unless I hover the pointer over where it says (in this case) ‘Multiple Selection’. Only when in the Editor, where I also will see the combined word count for all documents selected simultaneously (in the footer bar), which also does not appear in the Outliner.

And when I hover over the right of where it says ‘Multiple Selection’, it gives me the total word count not for what is selected, but for the entire manuscript folder, along with another small number like ‘48’ which I don’t even know what that is—maybe it’s the number of words that appear in the document titles.

If I wish to know how many words in Scene 96 there are, and I select just those 4 docs, nowhere does it display that combined total, which is what I want to know. Not in the Outliner, only in the Editor. And nothing appears where the Quick Search window should be.

Yes, the estimated word count for the full manuscript is only shown when the mouse is hovered over that “Multiple Selection” box in your screenshot. The rest of the time, it shows the title of the document you’re viewing. Or, as in your example, it show that multiple documents have been selected.

That box in the toolbar is also a quick search field, just as an aside.

Since the four documents making up your Scene 96 aren’t the only documents in that Chapter 42 folder, I see now why the folder’s total word count isn’t helpful to you.

However, if you select those four documents in the outliner and then use the Project > Statistics command and select the “Selected Documents” option, you’ll get a word count just for those four documents.

Granted, that’s not having it shown in the Outliner view at all times like the total word count by chapter folder shows. But, it is a way to see that information quickly if you’re in the Outliner view and don’t want to toggle back to a Scrivenings session just to see the count.

Another possibility, if it would be helpful, would be to make 96b, 96c, and 96d subdocuments of 96a.

Then, the total word count for 96a would be the sum of its text and those three subdocuments.

It’s not an approach I’ve tried with my fiction projects because I don’t subdivide my scenes this way.

But, it borrows from the subsection approach that a lot of non-fiction writers might use for their manuscripts.

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Oh, that’s brilliant! Thank you so much! Now I need to send you a Christmas present.

The subdocument thing, I tried a few days ago, and it didn’t work the way I wanted. It worked, but it caused a collateral issue, so I abandoned it.

‘Project > Statistics…’, I’ve used that to get manuscript counts, but never document counts. But that solves my issue completely.

So what I’ve done is this: I added a keyboard shortcut to Scrivener in MacOS System Settings that will allow me to invoke that with a keystroke combination a bit quicker (one that takes 2 fingers instead of 4).

And the shortcut I used is ‘Command+8’, which also insures that I will never accidentally invoke ‘scripwriting mode’ ever again. Two birds, one stone.

I love a happy ending.

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I found the outliner, its columns function etc., to be the most precious thing about Scrivener for my purposes and writing habits. (I dare say even more than the cork-board, hmm).

Agreed. I find the Corkboard to be mostly useless and don’t use it at all, but it’s a great feature for those who find it useful.

I find the Outliner to be somewhat limiting, especially that you need to click on the menu for each and every single edit to it, which seems a little silly.

But that’s OK. It would be difficult to make the Outliner any more complex inside the application, I think, so I appreciate what it can do.

But since it is limited, I use two features to make it less limiting:

  1. CSVs. You can export your Outliner (whatever is currently selected in it) directly to a CSV file and then open that and save it in Numbers (or Excel) and modify in any number of more sophisticated ways. I do this all the time.

  2. Layouts. I created a layout specifically formatted to fit what I want to export to a CSV.