How are words in a .pdf file counted?
Thread poster: laila mostafa

laila mostafa  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:47
English to Arabic
+ ...
Dec 21, 2010

i wanna know how to count words in a pdf file, i need to issue my invoice and don't know how to count the source word since they r in pdf format


Anja Weggel  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:47
Member (2007)
English to German
You can't Dec 21, 2010

As far as I know there is no way to count words in a pdf. You either have to make an estimate or you make an OCR and then count the words in a Word document.

Best regards


Signe Golly  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:47
Danish to English
+ ...
3 options Dec 21, 2010

You can invoice based on 1 of 3 things:
1) estimated word count
2) word count from OCR or other transfer of the text into regular text file (word, etc)
3) word count of the target text (of course, your client would have to accept this count first)


Jean Lachaud  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 08:47
English to French
+ ...
It depends Dec 21, 2010

If the PDF file is made of text, you can simply select the entire document, copy then paste in Word and use Word word count function.

If, on the other hand, the PDF contains text as image, you'll have to OCR the document, or count manually.

Of course, that is something you might have thought about before accepting the project.


John Fossey  Identity Verified
Local time: 08:47
Member (2008)
French to English
abracadabraCompteur Dec 22, 2010

To count the words in a text based pdf you can install the free abracadabraCompteur as an add-in to Acrobat Reader.

The link is here:

It doesn't work for text that is in images.

[Edited at 2010-12-22 02:25 GMT]

[Edited at 2010-12-22 02:42 GMT]


Local time: 15:47
English to Turkish
+ ...
addition Dec 22, 2010

You can use abbyreader.

There is a program advertised here in named Anycount. As far as I know, it is able to count characters in 36 file formats.

Additionally, there are online sites which make file conversion. You upload the pdf document and it comes to your mail in .doc format.

For the ones including only plain texts you can copy & paste it to word with ctrl + aicon_smile.gif


M.Gile  Identity Verified
Local time: 08:47
Member (2008)
German to English
Studio Dec 29, 2010

Studio 2009 will also do an analysis, I find Abby sometimes a bit slow but it works well


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How are words in a .pdf file counted?

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