I admit it. I read the Da Vinci Code. I wanted to see what all the hub bub was about and it had been ages since I read a popular novel. My major comment afterward was, ‘what godawful writing.’ Interesting that Eiron used the same language. Perhaps that could be part of the code–a dialogue box that says ‘that’s just godawful!’ Or how about ‘you tard!’? Or 'you’re being a ‘tard!’? Really, the possibilities are endless, you know…

Back in the days of System 7 or 8, I used a Mac program called On Location. After it indexed my files, I could enter a text string and it would show every file, and its contents, containing that string. Seemed way cool at the time.

But (and here’s my point), it could also parse my files and tell me what reading level I had attained. It was very humbling to see that my best prose was “grade school” and my worst was “higher education.” If you add pop-ups to version X, I recommend a warning about level of diction.

just reading up on this thread and another thought jumped to mind - could this be done as a plugin?

if so, what would be very cool is not just a word count, but also a length estimation utility - for example, a basic set of approximations based on font and standard margins so that a writer could see that his/her book published in a 6x9 format (or whatever) would be “approximately” X pages long

this is probably meaningless to those of you working on the next ‘pillars of wisdom’ but for business related text it would be quite useful, and for those engaged in self publishing via POD, it would be extremely helpful in terms of estimating cost before even going through edits and all of that (as a cost planning tool, since most POD options anchor to page length and size/format)

Cmd-Opt-Shift-S. :slight_smile:

Pages (paperback) is in the top section. You can eliminate footnotes and annotations from the estimation if you please, and also calculate for sections of the book that you select, as opposed to the entire draft. It is not super-scientific, but it is roughly based on the average text size in a paperback.

I’m wondering why no one’s mentioned the near necessity of a word counter for various commercial forms of writing.

Magazine articles, newsletters, ad copy, and other types of writing assignments are usually given a word limitation/requirement. A word counter WITH an alarm, to let me know I’m nearing that boundary, would be a very handy thing indeed. Perhaps the screen could flash briefly whenever a preset goal is reached.

Seems to me that Scrivener’s use is not limited to the writing of books and I would think that many of it’s users write words for hire as I do (although, I too, have that Great American Novel percolating away inside my brain .)

So count me in for a word counter w/alarm.


Because it’s already there and no one, (not even I, the prophet of anti wordcount) questions that it is good and right to have it. It’s quite easy to track your word count for a selection, document, edit scrivenings session or entire draft. The issue here is the usefulness of a wordcount for the day that sounds some bell or whistle to reward you when you have passed your preset goal.


Actually, several folks have noted this, including moi. It’s getting to be a long thread now, so perhaps you didn’t read all of it.

This is all getting rather academic, and I think “necessity” is stretching it a bit far given that folk have managed with apps such as MS Word for years. Anyway, it’s academic because there will be no target setting alarm/progress bar for the foreseeable future. The word counts in Scrivener are good, solid, and provide everything most users need for now. A target/alarm thing may be considered for 2.0. Thanks for registering your interest for the future, but I don’t want to get anyone’s hopes up as it has been well publicised that the featureset for 1.0 is well and truly locked.
Best regards,

It’s not a reward, my friend, that I’m interested in. Not a carrot at the end of the stick or an ‘atta boy’ from my computer. No, it’s about the uninterrupted flow of words from my brain, through my fingers, into the hard drive and up onto the computer screen.

And I agree that it’s a small thing; not something that will bring peace to the middle east or find a cure for cancer; but it would make for an easier flow of words without consciously thinking about where I am in the writing process.

Now methinks you’ll say “well dolt, why don’t you just look at the bottom of the screen; the word count is displayed there in all its glory.”

Ah, yes it is, but I usually have 5-6 jobs that I’m working on at a time, and each of them has a different word length requirement. If I could, for example, set the screen to flash at 2000 words in a 2500 word article, at 300 words in an 400 word radio spot, at 3500 words in a 4000 word essay, etc., all would be right in my little corner of the universe.

Am I making sense? Instead of consciously having to remember what the length of each piece should be, and when I’m nearing its end, the computer screen would gently remind me, far enough in advance, how many words are left to write, so that I can begin to tie a ribbon on it. After all, computers were created to make our lives easier.

Granted, as I said before, this isn’t an earth shattering requirement, but it’s one that would bring Scrivener even closer to perfection then it already is. At least it would in my book.

As an aside: I wonder why there are some less then congenial posts in this thread. As writers, we should all welcome differences of opinion; we should thrive on them. But, from what I’ve seen here, some posters seem to subscribe to the it’s my way, or the highway way of doing things.

Why beat someone down who makes a request for a feature, just because you don’t feel it’s necessary for the way you write? Discussion is a healthy thing. But telling someone that they are flat out wrong is, well, flat out wrong.

So there . . . put that in your typewriter and smoke the keys.

One other thing. The term ‘bloat’ has been tossed around quite a bit in this thread, and others, regarding feature requests and the like; here’s my nickel on that one.

I like options. I like to be able to tailor a writing program so that it fits exactly the way I write rather then the other way around. If I knew how to write a scribing program I would do exactly as Keith did back with Scrivener Gold and write my own. I’d include just what I wanted and exclude what I didn’t. But, I don’t know programming and don’t care to learn it. So I look to others to do my dirty work and am always on the lookout for the best writing program that I can find.

And I’ve tried them all: Ulysses, WriteRoom, Avenir, Write, CopyWrite, Jers, WriteItNow, etc. Most have good things to recommend them, but none were exactly what I was looking for, until I found Scrivener . . . well, maybe it’s not exactly what I was looking for, but it’s damn close.

Now I certainly understand the difficulty in adding new features, and that Scrivener could easily get out of hand, but I do like having options. I have yet to find a use for MultiMarkdown, but that doesn’t mean that others won’t use it. So I don’t condemn Keith for including it along with other things that I won’t use.

I suppose what it all boils down to is just how much work Keith wants to put into his program; yes, I have to remember that it’s still his baby. And even though I’d like to make the program my own and customize it with everything that will make my life as a writer for hire easier, it isn’t my creation.

It is, after all, Keith’s program and he will be the final arbiter of what goes in . . . and what doesn’t.

ADDENDUM: I started this reply several hours ago, broke for lunch and to finish up a job. Upon my return, I see that Keith has replied to my original post. 'Nuff said.



Feel better now? :wink:


I’d just like to add that I very much respect people’s reasons for wanting this in the app, but this feature would be a lot more work (for something I wouldn’t use :wink: ) than I can afford to spend time on in the near future.


And I’d like to add that if you read the whole thread you might notice that I recognized my own crankiness, mocked myself for the extremity of my view and addressed the issue of politeness in these fora. Hell, you made one post, to which I replied politely while consciously refraining from saying RTFT. Take a pill, man.


No . . . but I’ll bet you do

sorry 'bout that . . . it just kind of slipped out.


Eiron might have a better sense of humor, but you definitely have the longest tongue in town!
Now, can we all just get along?

Now, I’m a pretty funny guy, too . . . my wife often has spasms of uncontrollable laughter . . . late at night . . . when we’re making whoopee . . . come to think of it . . . that’s not funny at all. Damn.