Using WordPerfect’s Word Count feature (WordPerfect X3 and X4)

November 8, 2009 at 5:23 pm

There are several different ways to use the Word Count feature – something that can be particularly important if you are a lawyer who does a fair amount of appellate work – in recent versions of WordPerfect. For one thing, WordPerfect X3 and X4 include a very spiffy Word Count button on the Application Bar (WordPerfect’s terminology for the Status Bar that appears at the bottom of the program window). To get an updated count of all of the words in the document, click the button. The button also works to provide a word count for selected text. (If the button isn’t showing, right-click the Application Bar, then click Settings and,when the Application Bar Settings dialog opens, scroll down to Word Count, click to put a checkmark in the box, and click OK. If the Application Bar itself isn’t showing, click the View menu and click to check Application Bar.)

To get more information (and to configure the way the feature works), you can either click the Tools menu, Word Count or click the File menu, Properties, Word Count. Doing so will open the Properties dialog, which contains a Word Count tab. That tab keeps track of the number of characters, words, sentences, lines, paragraphs, pages, average word length, average number of words per sentence, and maximum words per sentence in your document as a whole. (The latter two indices can be used as rough measures of the complexity of your writing.) There is an “Update” button that gives you current statistics for the entire document or for selected text. (Originally I thought the “Update” button did not provide information about selected text, but I have re-tested the feature since I first posted and have discovered that my initial understanding was incorrect.) Note that the Word Count button on the Application Bar provides only a total word count, not the detailed statistics presented in the dialog.

Below the “Statistics” section, you’ll see a second section labeled “Include the following.” That portion of the dialog allows you to pick and choose which items WordPerfect includes in the document word count. You can include or exclude headers, footers, comments, footnotes, endnotes, watermarks, text boxes, and/or box captions.

As far as I know, the ability to configure the items included in the word count was not available in versions of WordPerfect prior to X3. Also, in versions earlier than WP 11, the Word Count feature opened from the File menu, Properties but wasn’t listed on the Tools menu.

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