Friday, April 28, 2006

A Word, if You Please

Word count is a funny thing. NaNo participates were thrilled to discover that a word counter was added last year as they raced frantically for the 50K goal. In prior years, a document was submitted and that's it. No idea of if 1,000 more words were needed or only a handful.

Extremely frustrating when MS Word says you have 50,051.

A faithful Snarkling shared this data with Miss Snark who provided her take on it.

Program/Version/Platform Words


Adobe Frame Maker 5.0, 5.5 404

Adobe Page Maker 6.5 400

IBM Translation Manager 2.0.1 386

Lotus Word Pro/Ami Pro 400

MS Word 2.0c 400

MS Word 5.0 DOS 400

MS Word 5.1/5.1a Mac 404

MS Word 6.0 Mac 400
(this is Miss Snark's program)

MS Word 6.0/a/b/c 400

MS Word 7.0 400

MS Word 8.0 400

Nisus 4.1 400

QuarkXPress 4.0 386

Quicknotes 399

TexEdit 2.0.5 Mac 402

Textcount 408

Trados 1.15 402

Word Perfect Spellchecker Mac 402

Word Perfect 2.1.4 Mac 408

Word Perfect 3.0/3.1/3.5e Mac (spell checker counts 387)

Word Perfect 4.2 386

Word Perfect 5.0 404

Word Perfect 5.1 DOS 386

Word Perfect 6.0 400
(this is my back up program)

Word Perfect 6.0a 402

Word Perfect 6.1 400

Word Perfect 8.0 400

Wordstar 7.0b de (7.0d en) 386

So, what does a smart Snarkling take away from this? If you're entering a contest, don't send "exactly 500 words" to a 500 max word contest. Send 450. Or even 475 in a pinch. Give yourself some margin for program count discrepencies.

Almost enough to make you wish that editors and agents would unite like producers in Hollywood have. Their formatting guidelines are rigid because each pages translates to 2 minutes of movie. Or something like that.

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