It may appear that your profession is not a word counter. Not really? Then I guess you can be misled by some of the word count-related terms. So I place here several basic ones in the Word Count Knowledge Base.
‘The word count is the number of words in a document or passage of text”, says Wikipedia. I wouldn’t dare to argue but would add that people often use word count instead of text count.
Text count, to follow Wiki’s scheme, is a number of words, lines, characters (with or without spaces), pages, or other defined units in a text.
Yes. Although it may seem ridiculous, we often can’t define what actually a word for the counting engine is. For example, for a Word processor, a word is everything between two spaces, including numbers. Smarter word count tools can make the difference between the words and other symbols, allowing a word to be a word in its offline meaning.
Editors often use a word limit to define the length of the desired text.
As translators are usually charged per source word, a source word count is needed to know the number of words in the source text. If a translator can’t count words in a source text (i.e. hard copies), the payment is set by the target word count.
Target word count is the number of words in a translated document.
Hope it wasn’t too many terms for 1 post in our Word Count Knowledge Base. But I’m still wondering about all the “footers, headers, notes, footnotes, endnotes, text boxes, shapes, embedded and linked documents, comments, and the hidden text”. Are you?