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Different word count results research and your word count tools

As I stated in my previous post, I wanted to investigate the statement that MS Word usually shows less word count results than other word count tools. So I ran a little experiment, and I will be happy to share the word count results with you.

Data:

We have 2 MS Word documents, 1 with plain text and 1 with different text objects included.

I decided to use 3 tools for quick word count evaluation: MS Word Statistics, an online word count tool, and a specialized word count tool.

Stage 1: Plain Text

Please follow my results on the screenshots below.

Word count in plain text

The result is 330 words.

Word count

Here is a total of 328 words.

AnyCount Word Count

Total of 330 words (including 2 numbers).

Conclusion:

Numbers make the only word count difference. There are two of them in text, but I guess the translation client wouldn’t want to pay for them as for words if there are more.

Stage 2: Text+ different text objects

My document included text boxes, WordArt object, shape, footers, headers, and an embedded Excel table.

Word count

The outcome is 707 words (the possibility of counting textboxes, footnotes, and endnotes in new MS Word versions is entirely new to me).

Online word count

Total of 431 words (see, it is supposed to be a table instead of white space).

Word count in objects

Total of 865 words (including 28 numbers).

Conclusion:

707/431/865. Indeed, MS Word shows fewer word count results than specialized word count tools, but more than an online word counter.

As a translator, you will get your salary

  • Very little according to the online word count.
  •  More for 28 numbers, but underpaid for 130 words in text objects according to MS Word Statistics.
  • According to the accurate word count in a specialized word count tool.

General conclusion:

If you work with plain text only and don’t care for the numbers, you may surely rely on any of the word count tools. But if your document is more complicated than that – well, the decision is up to you.

Those are my results. Maybe I should have included something else? Write in the comments to this post.

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