Incorrect Character Count

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Cletus Awreetus-Awrightus
Posts: 36
Joined: 2005-12-20 02:34:41

Incorrect Character Count

Post by Cletus Awreetus-Awrightus »

Hello.

I had a battle with my agent, which I lost. We were arguing over the character count; he was using Word, I was using Nisus. I always came up with a greater number of characters.

Long story short: Nisus counts each paragraph as an additional character. As a result, your text in Nisus is exactly the number of paragraphs "longer" than it actually is.

In addition, there's a bug in decreasing the character count, which I can't quite explain (it will be easier to put into words, when the main bug is fixed).

System summary: NWE 2.5; Mac OS X 10.4.3

MacSailor
Posts: 290
Joined: 2003-04-03 08:38:41
Location: Linköping, Sweden

Post by MacSailor »

Hi, I took your text from the previous entry (the text you wrote in the first entry under this subject " Incorrect Character Count") and pasted it into NWE 2.6b2, Word v.x, Mellel 2.0.2, Abiword 2.4.1 and finally OpenOffice 2.0.

The result I got was this:

NWE: characters - 566, words - 102, paragraphs - 9
Word: characters - 558, words - 102, paragraphs - 5
Mellel: characters - 566, words - 102, paragraphs - 5
Abiword: characters - 558, words - 103, paragraphs - 5
OpenOffice: characters - 567, words - 102, paragraphs - doesn't count

I'ts not good for anyone if different word processors counts the characters, words or paragraphs different.
Peter Edwardsson
..............................

HeatherKay
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Location: Chatham, UK
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Post by HeatherKay »

Looking at those results, it seems that NWE is including a para return where a line space is included in the paste (which is probably a perfectly accurate thing to do).

However, the others seem to have pasted the text and automatically removed the "spare" lines, giving a more accurate paragraph count (the kind of count you or I may do by hand).

Now, which do I think is more accurate? Mmm. :?

midwinter
Posts: 333
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Post by midwinter »

HeatherKay wrote:Now, which do I think is more accurate? Mmm. :?
I know which one any publishers I deal with would think is more accurate.

dshan
Posts: 334
Joined: 2003-11-21 19:25:28
Location: Sydney, Australia

Post by dshan »

It would seem to be a matter of opinion which character count is correct - NWX, Mellel and Open Office all agree (to an accuracy of 1 character anyway) and seem to include newlines in their character counts but Word and Abiword disagree about newlines and exclude them from their counts. Majority seems to favour including them... ;-)

Surely the most important number for writers however is the word count rather than the character count? There everyone seems to be in agreement (aside from Abiword who claims one extra word).

The simple test is:

a<return>
b<return>
c<return>

NWX 2.5 says 6 chars, 3 words and 3 paragraphs. I must say I think that should be 3 characters, 3 words and 3 paragraphs but it seems NWX can probably find several friends to back it up (Word Counter at www.supermagnus.com for example agrees it's 6 chars and 3 words).

MacSailor
Posts: 290
Joined: 2003-04-03 08:38:41
Location: Linköping, Sweden

Post by MacSailor »

Mellel says 6 chars, 3 words and 3 paragraphs as well.
OO says 3 chars, 3 words and still not able to tell me how many paragraphs.
Whereas MS Word, counts 3 in all and so does Abiword. A matter of fact, so does the statistic feature within the WordService "application".
Peter Edwardsson
..............................

dshan
Posts: 334
Joined: 2003-11-21 19:25:28
Location: Sydney, Australia

Post by dshan »

Interesting. And both Abiword and Pages give you two character counts - one including spaces and one excluding them. That's handy. Pages agrees it's 3 chars, 3 words and 3 paragraphs too.

This is a knife fight in which I have to side with the 800lb gorilla and his friends and say I think returns/newlines/newparagraph chars should be omitted from the character count (and having char counts with and without spaces would be nice too).

Oh dear, I just tried it with leading tabs...:
<tab>a<return>
<tab>b<return>
<tab>c<return>

NWX says 9 chars, 3 words and 3 paras whereas AbiWord says 3c (both with and without spaces), 3w, 3p. Pages counts tabs (as spaces!) but not newlines and so says 6c (incl spaces, 3 without), 3w, 3p.

Pick a method and someone will use it seems to be the rule!

Cletus Awreetus-Awrightus
Posts: 36
Joined: 2005-12-20 02:34:41

Post by Cletus Awreetus-Awrightus »

dshan wrote:Pick a method and someone will use it seems to be the rule!
Pages and Word use the correct method (at least my paycheck says so).

Try this example:

<return>
<return>
<return>
<return>

Any doubts now? ;)

More fun? Okay. Now try deleting those carriage returns one by one and look at the character count.

Cletus Awreetus-Awrightus
Posts: 36
Joined: 2005-12-20 02:34:41

Post by Cletus Awreetus-Awrightus »

dshan wrote:Surely the most important number for writers however is the word count rather than the character count?
It depends. I get paid by the character (by the page, to be exact, and a page is 1,800 characters including spaces, not returns).

midwinter
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Post by midwinter »

Seems to me we have the makings of an option.

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