An experienced word count user may already have noticed that there can be slight and even substantial differences in word count results produced by different word count engines. Surprised? Let’s find out what is the reason for that.
Currently there are no rules or system defining what instruments or scheme should be used for word count and different word count tools use their own schemes for word count. And the most important question here is what to count. Well, words, obviously, but it appears that different programs include different meanings in this single object.
Microsoft Word Statistics, the most common unspecific word counting instrument, considers everything between two spaces a word, be it a number or a symbol. On the other hand, Word doesn’t include in its word count statistics the text in text boxes or shapes, that may sometimes happen to add a significant number of words to your word count.
The specific word count tools are more accurate here. Usually, a user can define whether to count numbers or not and whether to include the text from additional objects to the word count statistics. The best word count tools are usually armed with word count opportunities in footers, headers, notes, footnotes, end notes, text boxes, shapes, text in embedded and linked documents, comments and hidden text. Also they can provide the word count in a large number of file formats. For example, AnyCount counts text in 36 file formats!
It is also said that because of these differences the word count produced by specific word count tools usually scores more words/units than word count in Microsoft Word. But I guess I’d like to find that out myself and do some research on the matter. So just look forward to it!