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MS-Word's Word Count Problem
Thread poster: Mohit Sehdev

Mohit Sehdev
United States
Local time: 02:54
German to English
+ ...
Nov 7, 2003

Hi there,

For the first time in all these years after working in MS-Word, I have noticed a peculiar problem. Upon using the MS-Word’s word-count option, one of my files returned 47744 words. Since the file had required a considerable amount of formatting because of the illustrations and tables etc., I password protected the file, so that the formatting would remain intact. However to my surprise, when I checked the properties of this password protected file, the word count in the statistics showed 59491 words. Now I am sort of flabbergasted, as to which word count should I use for invoicing to the client. Has anyone else faced this problem? Which word count is correct? Do give your precious feedback.

With best regards.

Mohit Sehdev


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Harry Bornemann  Identity Verified
Mexico
English to German
+ ...
try other counting tools Nov 7, 2003

How many words do Trados and Déjà Vu count in your file?
And does it contain any drawings or text boxes?

Word usually does not count the text contained in text boxes,
and Déjà Vu imports and counts them twice,
while Trados counts them correctly..

[Edited at 2003-11-08 07:54]


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Fuad Yahya  Identity Verified
Arabic
+ ...
A trick I have used Nov 8, 2003

Whenever in doubt about word count, I copy the words as unformatted text (no tables, not text boxes, no footnotes, not headers or footers, no table of contents, or any such fancy items) and paste the unformatted text in a new file I usually name wordcount.doc. Then I look up the properties of this new file. The word count I find there is what I go by when I invoice the client. If the client disputes my word count because the word count in the properties of the formatted file is smaller, I can always send the wordcount.doc file as confirmation. For a large job, doing this is worth the effort.

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Catherine Bolton  Identity Verified
Local time: 08:54
Member (2002)
Italian to English
+ ...
Agree with Fuad Nov 8, 2003

That's exactly what I do! Particularly when text boxes are involved, there is no way to count the number of words.
To prove this, run your word count. Now, go into a text box and remove a couple of words. Go back out of the text box and run the word count again. You'll see that nothing changes.


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Hermann  Identity Verified
Local time: 07:54
English to German
+ ...
Agree with Fuad and Cbolton Nov 8, 2003

You could also try to use practicount and check whether you get different results or a match with one of the other counts.

Greetings

Norbert


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Mohit Sehdev
United States
Local time: 02:54
German to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
MS-Word's Word-Count & Practicount Nov 8, 2003

Hermann wrote:

You could also try to use practicount and check whether you get different results or a match with one of the other counts.

Greetings

Norbert


Dear HenryB and Norbert,

thanks for your advise I tried Practicount as well as the suggestion by Faud. MS-Word’s word-count option seems okay as long as there are no text boxes and headers or footers. I knew very well that MS-Word’s word-count option does not take the textboxes into consideration. I guess the problem lies in the password protecting of the file. Practicount without header/footers setting gave the same result as that of MS-Word. So I guess the properties of the password protected file returns the erroneous word count.

Oh! By the way dear CBolton, always convert your Text-boxes into frames, MS-Word’s word-count option counts the words given in the frames, and Frames are as almost good as Text-boxes.

Thanks a lot everybody for your precious feedback.

With best regards.

Mohit Sehdev


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Harry Bornemann  Identity Verified
Mexico
English to German
+ ...
it's not so simple.. Nov 8, 2003

Mohit Sehdev wrote:
..I guess the problem lies in the password protecting of the file..
I tried to reproduce the error by counting words in a .doc file containing normal text, textboxes and hidden text, trying all 3 options of password protection, but it made no difference
Maybe your MS Word is corrupt?


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