One thing I love about Scrivener is the project and document word counts and targets and all of that. It really is fantastic. However one thing I would like to see in a future version is a better way of visualising my current word counts and my targets, for example as a column graph. A good thesis should look like a bell curve; brief opening and closing chapters, lengthy data and discussion chapters in the middle, and middle-length introductory chapters like background, methodology and so forth.
I look at my word counts in the Scrivenings view and think ‘oh yeah’, but then I plugged them into Excel and plotted them on a graph and noticed that my background chapter was way too large and my data and discussion chapters way too small (thus far).
I don’t necessarily think this should be the only way of representing it, but perhaps there could be a dialogue box that says ‘visualise project totals’ or something, and can show both actual words and targets as overlapping graphs, maybe a single horizontal column chunked up into the different chapters/documents (however one wants to split it), so one can visualise the thesis (or book, whatever) as a single path with different split points.
I think this might work best in the outliner actually, and perhaps as a mode switch from the current numeric information so that it is displayed visually. The outliner is already capable of displaying bar graphs (based on progress to individual document word count goals). One reason why something like this isn’t very high priority is how easy it is to get the data out and into something that can make graphs easily, like spreadsheets. All you need is an outliner with a “Title” column and a “Total Word Count” column, and then you can can load whatever you want into the outliner with Cmd-click to get a concise list, and export that to CSV via File/Export/Outliner Contents as CSV.... The Total Word Count column will count all child items as well as any text the picked item itself might have, making it useful for counting folders that represent sections of the book.