word count in outline view

(In addition to Sophie’s request for keywords in outline view, which would be great) I would like to be able to see the word count for each document in outline view. For those of us who write with strict word limits, being able to see the word count for every document (& thus the relative sizes of different sections of the overall piece) would be really helpful.

You’ll be happy to hear that you can already do that…

In the outline view, at the far right of the column header bar, there’s a button with three dots on it. Click to see what all you can display - word count, target, and progress are three of the options.

Is there any way Scrivener can provide a meaningful roll-up of these numbers? I appreciate that the outline structure – in particular nesting – is not necessarily a table of contents. But this is called an “Outline”, and I for one would find roll-up of words and target very useful; they can always be ignored or discounted to the extent necessary.

  • Sophie

Not in a column, but if you right-click on a selection of documents in the Outliner (or Corkboard) you’ll get a sum of all selected documents at the bottom of the menu. Of course you can also use the Project Statistic panel Selection section (tick the option for sub-document counting to get a recursive count off of the current Binder selection).

No luck for targets, though, I’m afraid.

thanks - that’s a great help

I second the request for Outline View to show total wordcounts and targets for the documents in each folder. I split my novel into one document per scene in order to make it easier to move scenes around within the structure, and then organise the scenes into chapter and act folders, but that makes it difficult to get an overview of the whole work. The exact word count per scene isn’t that big a deal for me, but the total length is, if I want the book to be commercial.

Project Statistics helps, but in order to change the folder you’re summing up you have to close the statistics window, select the new folder and open the statistics window again (usually via the menu, since the key shortcut Opt-Shift-Cmd-S is hardly simple!). And of course you can’t compare the lengths of chapters if you can only get one total at a time :frowning:

Since the code already exists to do the total word counts at any point in the document tree, presumably it wouldn’t be a huge task to put these figures in Outline View as well? If it would slow the application down, maybe it could be an option that you could turn on and off in Preferences?

Of course, adding total targets to Outline View would be the cherry on the cake! :slight_smile:

I would like to add my request for this as well. I was a PC yWriter user for years, but recently moved back to the Mac world. As I remembered it’s terrific, but as a PC user yWriter had become my backbone when writing. I was thrilled when I found Scrivener and although it’s not free as yWriter is, the fee is well worth it and I well gladly pay it as yWriter isn’t usable on a Mac without DarWINE, which slows it way down. And the interface and features are much better.

Now with that being said, the one and only feature that I dearly, sincerely, wholeheartedly miss from yWriter was the word count in the outline (it actually appeared on the side where the Binder is, but that’s not a necessity). What I miss and am trying keep up with in a spreadsheet is my word counts by scene, chapter, document and cumulative. The document one and cumulative are not as necessary because of the statistics option, but the chapter is one that is really throwing me.

I’m not sure how difficult it would be to make any folders denoted as “Chapters” in my “Manuscript” to pull a word count from the scenes contained within. I can expand all and view each scene, but I have to add them up to get a chapter count (not being a math major this is more difficult than it may seem :wink: ) I realize the Statistics option can work with a selection but when your flying along and checking to make sure your one chapter doesn’t blow out the others it would be a huge mindblock saver. I actually had to stop last night after renumbering in my spreadsheet because I lost track of what I was doing.

Again, a small feature, and albeit not probably one a lot of people rely on. But it would be a huge thing for myself, and the few others that rely on it. Thanks so much for creating an awesome, pocketbook friendly program for those of us trying to write!!!



This is actually already implemented in the next free update, 1.5, which will be available in the first quarter of 2009:

As you can see the "Total Words: gives the word count of everything, including the subdocuments, inside a folder.

All the best,

I do like this :slight_smile:

Looking forward to first quarter of 2009.

Thank You!!!

I’m sure you realize that little quirks make all the difference as a new writer. Being able to view this will make it that much easier to stay on track.


As a nanowrimo participant, this will be absolutely great, especially for word wars!

Woohoo! (I just started to import my 2008 novel into Scrivener which was my prize to myself for winning and I am really liking this program. The edit scrivenings and frequency are my favorite geegaws so far but I am only just beginning to learn how to work the program.)