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Word counting in PowerPoint vs. Word???
Thread poster: Comtrans1
Comtrans1  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:03
Member (2011)
English to Bulgarian
+ ...
Dec 2, 2002

Dear colleagues,



I would very much appreciate your help and advice in the following case.

I have translated a PowerPoint presentation (.ppt file). The File-Properties-Statistics function of PowerPoint stated 8422 words. Based on this information, I invoiced my client for the amount.

The client decided to export this .ppt file as .rtf file and open it in Word. The similar File-Properties-Statistics function in Word stated 3072 words! Almost 3 times less!

My client was embarrassed, and almost accused me of cheating. I was also shocked because it was my first time to count the words in such PowerPoint presentations and I had no idea about this situation.

My questions are:

1. Have you ever experienced similar situations? How do you proceed then?

2. How can I find out what is the truth? Which word counting is correct? I would accept some 25% discrepancy, but 3 times is too much.

It\'s not only about money, my reputation is endangered. Thanks in advance!





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Catherine Bolton  Identity Verified
Local time: 23:03
Member (2002)
Italian to English
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I would trust the PowerPoint count Dec 2, 2002

PowerPoint often uses frames with words inside, and I think that they are omitted when converting to Word. Perhaps someone else can confirm this.

If you have the time and inclination, copy out all the text and paste it into a Word file to confirm the original count.

My real concern would be this customer basically accusing you of dishonesty. All the CUSTOMER has to do is look at the stats in the original PPT file to see that you didn\'t simply invent the numbers!


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mónica alfonso  Identity Verified
Local time: 19:03
Member (2004)
English to Spanish
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I had the same problem some time ago Dec 2, 2002

And I took some time to patiently cut and past ALL the text from power point into a word document. To my surprise, the number of words was QUITE different (lesser, I mean).

Mind you, Power Point probably counts some things which are not words as if they were. Rely on Word, because the properties of the PPoint document will lead you to this kind of disagreable situations.

You can ask your client to read this forum posting, in order to \'clean\' your reputation.



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Nathalie M. Girard, ALHC  Identity Verified
English to French
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Microsoft Word does not count words located in.... Dec 2, 2002

... text boxes or pictures/icons created in PowerPoint.



What I mean is that if your PPT presentation contained text boxes and various bubbles with words inside them etc... Microsoft word does *not* see those and would therefore not be able to count them!



I have another tool which I am beta-testing at the moment for a company and if you want to forward me a copy of the Power Point file, I can double-check on the actual word count for you.



(email: RNG@sunbeach.net)



Let me know if I can be of assistance.



Nathalie

[ This Message was edited by: on 2002-12-02 17:41 ]


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Zhoudan  Identity Verified
Local time: 06:03
Member (2007)
English to Chinese
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Word counting in PPT is not reliable Dec 2, 2002

This happens to me, too. I also tried Practicount, and found it not satisfactory. Pasting it in Word file is more reliable.

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Comtrans1  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:03
Member (2011)
English to Bulgarian
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TOPIC STARTER
Many thanks to all colleagues Dec 3, 2002

And especially to Nathalie Grace. She performed an independent check and the result was as follows:

When simply saving the PPT file as RTF, the programs extracts from the OUTLINE of the presentation. This extract doesn not include all the text within the presentation slides (I don\'t know why is that).

Something else that I also noted - this extract does not include the notes to the slides.

That\'s the explanation for the huge difference.I hope this information will help the others.

Best wishes to all of you!


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Evert DELOOF-SYS  Identity Verified
Belgium
Local time: 23:03
Member
English to Dutch
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You may send the file Dec 3, 2002

to me as well and I\'ll check with a couple of word counting programs I have here.



Quite a difference between 8000+ and 3000+ words, especially when you have to translate them.

Your client should know this.
[addsig]


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sylver  Identity Verified
Local time: 06:03
English to French
there is a way Dec 3, 2002

convert your ppt to an HTML presentation, tag the html file and count. That should do it without omiting anything. A little tricky though if you are not used to tagging docs.

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Nathalie M. Girard, ALHC  Identity Verified
English to French
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Yes Evert - quite the difference and it is a real difference... Dec 3, 2002

Good morning,



I think that what confuses a lot of people when working with Power Point is that if you do \"File\" then \"Save As\" and select to save the file as \"Outline RTF\" format, you end up with an RTF file but it only contains the *outline* of the slides and not all the text contained in Text boxes.



The outline is what you see on the left-hand side of the PowerPoint program when it is running (and your actual slides on the right-hand side).



It is very easy to see that the Outline (on the left) often shows a slide number with nothing written beside it or just the title of the slide (yet there is text in text boxes in the actual slide located on the right of the screen)...



And you can take the words on those slides (which do not show anything in the outline) and search for them in the OUTLINE file and you will not find them...



People confuse *outline* with EXTRACTION of text from the slides which is a totally different ball game.



An outline is just that, the squeleton and you also need to look at the meat on top of it - hence the huge discrepancy in word count.



I hope this will help others avoid this kind of situation, and it was my pleasure to assist you Irina



Have a great day everyone!



Nathalie


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Carina Balbo
United Kingdom
Local time: 22:03
Member (2006)
English
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Thanks a lot Nath ... Feb 6, 2003

... for your thorough explanation on PPT files, it really helps me A LOT !!! as I am facing a wordcount problem myself these days.



Thanks again!



Carina


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Nathalie M. Girard, ALHC  Identity Verified
English to French
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You're welcome Carina Feb 6, 2003

Quote:


On 2003-02-06 17:18, babell wrote:

... for your thorough explanation on PPT files, it really helps me A LOT !!! as I am facing a wordcount problem myself these days.



Thanks again!



Carina





I\'m glad that I could help you as well Carina



Regards,

Nathalie

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Matthew Coulson  Identity Verified
Albanian to English
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Power Point uses white space only. Feb 8, 2003

Power Point isn\'t nearly as intelligent in determining what is a word as is MS-Word. Power point just uses white space to tell you if it is a word or not. This will make it so that things such as a bullet is considered as a word since prior to the bullet you will typically have a Line Feed (Enter key) and after it you will have either a space or a tab. Both of these are considered as white space. So in the end power point will give you a higher word count than would MS-Word. The problem with saving the page as HTML or RTF it may leave out the lecture notes which aren\'t a part of the normal presentation which is shown.

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Carina Balbo
United Kingdom
Local time: 22:03
Member (2006)
English
+ ...
Any other suggestions??? Feb 10, 2003

Mathew,

I think your remark about power point counting blank spaces is very important. Have you got any other possible alternative, suggestion or solution?



Thanks a lot.



Carina


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Carina Balbo
United Kingdom
Local time: 22:03
Member (2006)
English
+ ...
Any other suggestions??? Feb 10, 2003

Mathew,

I think your remark about power point counting blank spaces is very important. Have you got any other possible alternative, suggestion or solution?



Thanks a lot.



Carina


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Matthew Coulson  Identity Verified
Albanian to English
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Wish I could be more helpful Feb 11, 2003

The problem is that you don\'t really have a good method of always determining the exact word count without doing it manually by hand. This is something that I typically discuss with the client before I accept the job. I find out what program they expect me to do my work in and if it is Power Point I use Power Point\'s word count function since they would have a hard time arguing that I am trying to cheat them since they got a different word count since this is a valid method of counting words. I also in my initial discussions with clients talk about what language the word count is from whether it is source or target. These are all important things to discuss with the client before you start the job and then at the end of the job you are only doing what was previously discussed with the client. I find that clients are happy that I get these areas of potential billing difficulty taken care of before the project begins since it shows that I am interested in making sure they are happy from the beginning to the end of the translation.



In summary use the tool that you specify to the client to do the word count, and try to please them since they are the one paying for dinner.


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