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Home » Tip of the Week » Exploring Word Count Tools

Exploring Word Count Tools

18th June, 2014 I by Amanda Barnstien

Many translators generate their revenue by charging a rate per word. For both the company receiving translation services and the translator, having an accurate word count becomes important in order to ensure a fair business transaction. However, many Office programs, including Microsoft Word, do not generate an accurate word count. These programs’ standard word count tools fail to count words included in text boxes and headers and footers. A translator using Microsoft Word may not realize that not all words, including those in text boxes and headers and footers, are not counted and may mistakenly charge a client less than they intended based on a per-word rate. Luckily, there are word count tools and software packages that provide an accurate word count within Documents.

Programs like Trados, a popular CAT tool, can provide word counts that include words within headers, footers, and text boxes, but there are other programs specifically used for counting words.

Word Count Tools can:

  • Count words and characters in your documents
  • Count words in text boxes and embedded objects
  • Count Asian characters
  • Count lines of text
  •  Work with PDF and Excel files

Depending on the word count tool used, other additional features may be provided and different file types supported.

Some different word count tools include:

Count Anything

  • A free program for Windows
  • Supports Microsoft Office, Open Office, HTML, PDF, Text, and XML file types
  • Save reports from Count Anything as HTML files

AnyCount

  • Supports BMP, CHM, CSV, DOC, DOCX, GIF, HLP, HTM, HTML, JPG, MIF, ODP, ODS, PDF, PNG, PPS, PPT, PPTX, PUB, RAR, RTF, SDC, SDD, SDW, SLP, SXC, SXI, SXW, TXT, VSD, WPD, XLS, XLSX, XML, and ZIP files
  • Count words in multiple files
  • Choose what should and should not be counted
  • Provides a 30-day free trial

PractiCount

  • Supports Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, Microsoft PowerPoint, Corel Word Perfect, Adobe Acrobat, Adobe Framemaker, HTML, XML, SGML, ASP, PHP, and help files
  • Count text in endnotes, footnotes and even annotations
  • Supports word count in single files and folders
  • 15 day free trial

When using a specific word count tool, translators are able to provide clients with accurate pricing while avoiding limitations of built-in word count tools.

How do you normally provide word counts to your clients? We’d love to learn about the tools and techniques you use in the comments.

2 responses to “Exploring Word Count Tools”

  1. Michael Beijer says:

    Hi Amanda,

    I currently use AnyCount 8 (Enterprise Edition). I used to use PractiCount, and just MS Word. I also used to let memoQ do the counting, but soon started to notice that memoQ would end up finding less words.

    What I like about AnyCount is that their support team is very responsive and that they seem to be interested in improving their tool.

    Michael

  2. Amanda Barnstien says:

    Hi Michael,

    Thanks for your comment. It’s nice to have an opinion on which Word Count Tools are useful.

    Thanks!
    Amanda

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