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File size to word count

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Obtaining a word count

Most word processing packages now offer a word count facility. However, if your computer cannot come up with the basic figures you may have to work it out from the printed page.

  1. First, find some 'normal' pages (no illustrations, not too much 'white space' or dialogue).
  2. Second, count five sample lines from the 'normal' pages. Then count all the words in the lines and divide by five to find the average number of words per line.
  3. Third, count the number of lines per printed page.
  4. Fourth, multiply the words per line by the number of lines per page, and you will have the number of words for a typical page.
  5. Finally, multiply this figure by the number of pages.
  6. Now subtract some words to reflect parts of pages left blank at the end of any sections or chapters. You might have to repeat the process above with a non-standard page to help you estimate this adjustment but it will normally be 5-10%. 
  7. If there are illustrations then subtract the number of pages to reflect the 'lost' words. 

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