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In this series, David Blatner and Anne-Marie Concepción, co-hosts of the web's top resource for InDesign tips and tricks, InDesignSecrets.com, share some hidden and sometimes surprising workflow tips that will make working in InDesign more efficient and more fun. The course covers built-in timesaving features such as Quick Apply and auto-expanding text, but also little-known tricks, such as using the eyedropper to copy and paste character and paragraph text attributes and making accurate selections by selecting through or even into objects.
New techniques will be added to the collection every other week, so check back early and often. Find more tips and tricks at indesignsecrets.com.
One very useful feature that InDesign has that not a lot of people realize is even there, is the ability to give you a word count for any story. To get the word count, you need to select it and then open up the Info panel. Window > Info, or just press F8. Now, if you've selected a frame with the Selection tool, the Info panel will just give you information about the frame itself. Where it's upper left-hand corner is, what it's width and its height is. But if you switch to the Type tool, here I just double click to switch to the Type tool, then the Info panel switches to show you information about the content of this text frame.
In other words, it gives you a count of its characters, 605, a count of its words, 96, 16 lines and it's one paragraph long. Now, the words aren't literal words. You might be wondering what counts as a word. Well, if I just added the word the for example, the, now there's 97 words. If I added the word, fantastic, now there's 98 words. So it makes no difference according to the length, in case you're wondering. A permutation on this is in case you have an overset frame.
So here this frame is overset. So let's switch to normal mode so we can actually see the frame. There we go. There's a little overset marker. Now when we click inside this frame it shows us little plus symbols. And the plus symbols indicate how many words its oversets, or how many characters, how many words. Can't tell you how many lines its over set. Because it doesn't know like, if this is going to be threaded to a frame that's really wide or not. Then it might just be one line. And if you indeed selected this frame and then went to Edit > Edit in story editor, you could see the over-set text right after the word nurturing here.
The word count and character count works in both, story editor and in the normal layout mode. And also notice that if you make a selection, then it changes to a word count an a character count of selection. Which can be quite useful if you're trying to figure out, how do I actually, delete eight words, because it's over set eight words, or 45 characters would be more, accurate. Then you could try making selections to see if it's the same number of characters. Is that 45 characters? No it's only 18, and so on. I think that's pretty useful.
I use it when I have an overset frame, and I don't know if it's one character or if it's, you know, 500 characters. I usually keep the Info panel a part of my custom workspace and I pop it out and just take a peek really quick. And one thing that InDesign cannot do is give you a word count for the entire document. So this is a catalog that has a bunch of different stories and a bunch of different captions and a big table in the back. And I've often been asked, how do I get a word count for the entire document including everything that I see if I'm trying to gauge how many words a writer will have to write to fill this document.
And I double-click this guy, and it says I have 2,348 words in this document. And that's it. If you want to check it's voracity, let's add another word. That's 2,348 right? So let's click maybe here, and is a new great horse, and then we'll run it again. 2,349. There you go. The only problem though with this very simple script is that it does not count words in footnotes, nor does it count words in a table, so If I added a footnote, say to here.
We'll go ahead and choose Insert Footnote. Here is a wonderful footnote one, two, three, four, five words long, right? And then we say, count js text. It still says 2,349, not changed from before. So I asked my friend Marian Tompa if he can whip up a script for me to use in this video and he did, and it's called count all text. You don't need to select anything, just double-click. Look at this. There's 2349 words in the document. The number one counts as a word, I guess, in the footnotes, silly me.
And it counted the words in the table. So remember that table at the very end? There are 261 words in this table. And for a total of 2,616. So that's called count all text.jsx. Now you can't just make a selection of like, two or three stories and run it. It always does the entire document. If you need to get a word count of a single story, you have to use the Info panel. Where do you get these wonderful scripts? Go to indesignsecrets.com/downloads. And then just enter the exact name for the script with the .zip instead of .jxs.
So counttext.zip, hit Return, it'll download that little file. Unzip it, decompress it, it'll say count-text.jsx. Put that in your scripts folder and you're good to go. And the other one was very simply countalltext.zip. There both available on our site for free and thank you Marion for helping us out with this really cool word count script.
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