Word Counter: Powerful Free Word Count (And Much More) Utility For OS X

Word Counter by indie developer SuperMagnus is a Macintosh OS X application that performs a word count and a character count, but it can do much more. It can be used independently or in conjunction with other applications such as TextEdit, Microsoft Word, Pages, TextWrangler, and others.

Word Counter can automatically update the count based on a user-defined time interval, and show the progress achieved towards a set goal for the total number of words and characters. It also can perform bulk counts on multiple files and folders simply by dropping them onto the window. Word Counter can count the number of times a particular word appears in a document. It can even create a sortable summary table of all words in the document, with the number of times each word appears and the length of each word. Another Word Counter capability is calculating estimates for readability statistics using the well known Flesch-Kincaid readability formula and many others.

Word Counter can load numerous file types either into the main window or via bulk counts. These include plain text (txt), rich text (rtf, rtfd), Hypertext Markup Language (htm, html), Microsoft Word (doc, docx), Microsoft Word XML (wordml),OpenDocument Text (odt), Apple’s web archive (webarchive), active server pages (asp), cascading style sheets (css), java (java), javascript (js), java server pages (jsp), hypertext preprocessor (php), perl (pl), ruby (rb), and extensible markup language (xml). For html documents, only those words that would normally appear on the web page are counted; for the other files related to programming languages, all of the words in the document are counted.

Using Word Counter is easy. Simply type, paste, or drag text into the main word counter window, then press the “Count Words” button. Word Counter will provide the word and character count for the text, and it will also count the number of instances of a specific word or phrase if specified (see below). Word and character counts are independent. Thus, if you choose to ignore a word based on some of the preference settings available, the characters from those words will still be included in the overall count.

Instances Count
Word Counter can provide a total for the number of times a certain word or phrase appears. This count will be displayed alongside the total count for words and characters.

Word Frequencies
Word Counter also provides an interesting feature that summarizes the frequency of every word in a document.

Readability Statistics
As noted, Word Counter can provide various statistics to help judge the readability of text.

Progress Tracker
Using Word Counter’s Progress Tracker feature you can set a goal for the total number of words or characters you wish to type. Word Counter will then display the progress towards that goal in the small, floating Progress Tracker window. By default, a yellow warning icon will appear if you are at or above 90% of the goal and a red warning icon will appear if you exceed your goal (above 100%).

Minor Words
Word Counter can ignore minor words in the counts. These are ignored for both the word and character counts. This feature can be turned on or off in the preferences window. Furthermore, you can edit the list of minor words by clicking on the “Edit List” button in the preferences window. A screen shot of this window is below.

Word Counter can be used in conjunction with various applications. Simply click on the Word Counter icon on the main Word Counter window. A small floating window will appear. Word Counter will then count the text in the chosen application. Apple’s TextEdit application is the default, but you can change it to a different application in the Preferences. To have Word Counter return to counting the text in the main Word Counter window, simply close the floating counting window, or press the Count Words button on the main Word Counter window.

Word Counter bases its word and character counts mainly on how AppleScript defines a word and a character, which actually differs depending on the version of OS X you use. OS X 10.4 defines characters such as the ampersand (“&”) as a word whereas OS X 10.5 does not.

System Requirements:
Word Counter has been tested on Macintosh OS X 10.5.8 and 10.6.8.

Word Counter is free.

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