Word Count

  Computer Tips 4 Writers

I get paid how much per word? Let me count...


There are computer-generated exact word counts that are different from the word count a editor uses. 

To do a computer-generated word count, click Tools on the menu bar, and then click Word count. 

Tip: Many writers set a goal of so many words written per sitting, and this word count is a good way to check that progress.

For editors, word count is the amount of space a story uses when typeset. Editors consider one word to be six characters; that is five characters plus one space.

How this works:
1. You need to leave the right margin ragged so the editor can calculate the exact                         6-character word count.
2. Pick a standard-looking page from the middle of the manuscript.
3. Using a ruler, align it along the right edge of the text so that the ends of half lines stick             out and half are covered. Since most standard format pages contain 24 or 25 lines,             you should have 12 or 13 sticking out beyond the ruler.
4. Count characters backwards from the point where the ruler ends. Divide the total by 6.            Multiply by lines on the page, i.e.: 60 characters divided by 6 equals 10 words per line. Multiplied by 25 lines equals 250 words per page. Then multiply by pages in the manuscript, adjusting for blank areas. This will give you an accurate word count equivalent to what an editor will use.

Or you can:
1. Count the number of characters in an average, mid-paragraph line if you are using a                   mono spaced font like Courier. If you're using a proportional font, the number of               characters can vary the word count.
2. Divide by six. This is the number of words per line. 
3. Count the number of lines on a page. This includes any # for blank lines.
4. Multiply #2 by #3 to get the number of words per page.
5. Multiply by the number of full pages, plus any fractional pages, to get the total number            of words.
6. Round the number to the nearest hundred. 

This is the number you put on the front page of the manuscript.

 Tip: Counting this way gives a greater word count than the computer-generated count does.

 

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