Wordcount / Target / Statistics


I’m writing text for a documentary film. In order to estimate the spoken length of the text (in German) there is a rough number of 150 words per minute.

Is there a way to let scrivener count the words of a specific format?
I’d like to count the words formatted as “Dialog” without counting the “Heading” or “Action” Comments etc.


  1. There is not a built-in function for word-counting just dialog in a script. Someone might have suggestions about how to accomplish it though.

  2. This question has come up before, so a search of the forums may produce results of interest — some of the discussion has revolved around wanting word counts per character of just dialog, but anything that did that would easily do what you want too.

  3. I wrote a script (of the coding variety) that does this. Script text copied to the clipboard would be processed to produce both total dialog word count and per character word counts. There is also one that targets a compiled Word doc instead of text on the clipboard. I adapted these for another user at the following thread to include the total dialog word count. Unfortunately, that person (who had, e.g., never invoked an applescript function before) was not able to get going with either. Both bits of code work for me, so not sure what the problem was there. Anyway, FWIW: https://forum.literatureandlatte.com/t/feature-request-scriptwriting-word-count-to-exclude-non-dialogue-words/50107/7?u=gr

Interesting, the only standard rule of thumb for scripts I have heard of is per page (as in 1pg=1min), not per dialog word. After all, Actions etc take time too. So, I am curious to know if this rule of thumb is specific to something like voice-over narrative such as one often has in documentary films. This makes some sense to me, since such a narrative voice is “on a separate track” so to speak from the Action.

It is useful to know of this standard, because it puts more weight behind the feature request which is sometimes made for an in-built function for counting dialog words in screenplays and stage scripts. Do you have a sense of how widespread this standard is?



Thank you for your fast reply :-))

The Script I’m writing is a voice-over – so i can neglect the “Action”

here is a calculator which turns out to be quite accurate:
thevoicerealm DOT com SLASH count-script.php
(I#m not allowed to include links in my posts…)

Thank you for your Applescripts, I’ll give them a try :slight_smile: