Issue 41454 - Add a character/word count in the status bar
Add a character/word count in the status bar
Product: Writer
Classification: Application
Component: ui
OOo 1.1.3
All All
: P3 Trivial with 93 votes (vote)
: ---
Assigned To: AOO issues mailing list
: 42597 69801 72985 105066 107110 107758 114536 114599 (view as issue list)
Depends on:
Blocks: 108826 4568
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Reported: 2005-01-27 12:35 UTC by ptram
Modified: 2015-03-03 14:28 UTC (History)
21 users (show)

See Also:
Latest Confirmation in: ---
Developer Difficulty: ---


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Description ptram 2005-01-27 12:35:17 UTC

As a journalist, I would like to always see the character count, without having
to open the Statistics dialog box each time. It would be a great idea to add
this info in the status bar under the document window.

Best regards,
Comment 1 michael.ruess 2005-01-27 14:02:50 UTC
reassigned to requirements.
Comment 2 lohmaier 2006-09-23 22:55:34 UTC
*** Issue 42597 has been marked as a duplicate of this issue. ***
Comment 3 lohmaier 2006-09-23 22:55:46 UTC
*** Issue 69801 has been marked as a duplicate of this issue. ***
Comment 4 lohmaier 2006-09-23 23:03:51 UTC
from issue 42597 - iannz has created a sample implementation with a custom
statusbar that can be toggled.

------- Additional comments from iannz Fri Feb 11 18:20:34 -0700 2005 -------

I have been playing with this concept, and have developed a macro that
demonstrates how it could work. What I have done so far can be found in a
template available from:

The basic idea is that the macro can toggle between a custom status bar and the
usual status bar. When the custom status bar is displayed, information such as
word and character counts for the entire document and the view cursor's current
loaction (characters from left and lines from top of page) are displayed. When a
selection is made Word counts for the selection are dsiplayed.

If a portion of the status bar was made available via the API then it would be
easier to implement custom status information.
Comment 5 jjmckenzie 2006-09-24 04:46:45 UTC
Changed platform to All vice MacIntosh per IZ 69801.
(it appears that cloph forgot to do this.)

James McKenzie
Comment 6 jjmckenzie 2006-09-24 04:51:59 UTC
Tested suggestion of using Macro to force change and this is acceptable to me as
a method to get around this requirement.  No all users want to look at the word
count in their document.
Comment 7 hitsujikinno 2006-10-28 10:00:11 UTC
Tested the Macro in Neo Office 2 Beta 3 Patch 6--it creates several serious
problems. I am aware this is a piliminary, but a headsup for those who want to
test it.
1. It doesn't save in a template.
2. It doesn't stay as a preference.
3. It messes up dictionaries so they only will spellcheck in German... (for the
document with the Macro active).
4. Tends to crash Neo Office.
5. Doesn't save within a document (once you close poof).

So it's good for a demo run, but don't actually use the listed Macro with the
intention of using it long-term. Doesn't work, the cursor gets stuck, etc (And
I'm running an Intel Mac Pro...) So don't take that Macro seriously... even as a
temporary solution. It's a demo, as it said.

So I wouldn't run serious/important documents with it active, 'cause as they
say, It's just a test, it's just a test so it would show how it would work.

I'd like to see this as a preference under preferences... or at least a menu
Macro. Be a good alternate to that useless "Word Count" one where you can't
select the window behind it to get a word count. (It beeps and then you have to
type some more then activate it, close it, etc). I'll patiently wait for it.
Thank you for the hard work on this.
Comment 8 lohmaier 2007-01-15 00:34:12 UTC
*** Issue 72985 has been marked as a duplicate of this issue. ***
Comment 9 zhangweiwu 2009-05-21 08:03:07 UTC
This deserve a fix. I met a journalist and meet this issue immediately. The
macro crash my OpenOffice 3.0 easily.
Comment 10 lovelywcm 2009-05-21 17:39:38 UTC
Yes, this is a very important feature for journalists/copy editors, fix please.
Comment 11 fhro 2009-05-28 20:33:27 UTC
This enhancement is essential in my view. I am a student and need to see the
word count in every essay and report I am writing.
Comment 12 velvet_man 2009-07-17 02:05:20 UTC

I'm a journalist, so I'm constantly working toward a specific word count on
every story I write. Having to stop what I'm doing -- and break my though
process and generally get out of a writing head space -- to check word count
through navigating menus is a constant pain. When at work, and working in
Microsoft Office on the Macs there, every station has live word count enabled
because it's literally one of the most often-used and necessary features in the
program. Aside from spell check, I don't think there's any other feature we use
more on a daily basis.

Also, because I've managed to find an OpenOffice macro that will provide live
word count in a separate window, I don't see why it would be difficult to add
this feature. The code is already there, just put it in the status bar at the
bottom of the screen. It baffles me that this hasn't been done yet.
Comment 13 zhangweiwu 2009-07-17 02:21:07 UTC
Hi velvet_man.

If you use so few other features of OOO I would recommend you migrating away
from OOO and use opensource Abiword instead. Abiword has their own problem too,
nothing is perfect, but it at least provides a dialog display word count AND the
dialog is alive, you can keep it open when you are authoring. I think abiword's
shortage on multi-column layout and footnotes are not important to you. I'd
perfer writing with left half of my screen and keep the word count dialog on the
right half of the screen.

It's good to hear you complain because then ooo people is more aware the
competition exists in opensource world too (abiword/ooo). In general I think OOO
did a good job, but this bug I think belongs to the papercut category
<> thus should be heard.
Comment 14 karandora 2009-07-30 06:33:38 UTC
velvet_man, where did you find the macro that creates a live word count?  This is 
a major issue for me, and while I understand the coding will take time, it would 
be great to have the macro to use before the next deadline.  Does the macro you 
refer to allow typing while the live word count is open?  I found an extension 
that does not (Writer's Tools).  

Comment 15 velvet_man 2009-07-30 16:10:51 UTC
Karandora, the macro I'm using is much better than Writer's Tool. You can find the code at http:// You just have to copy and paste it into 
an empty file and save it as a .py extension (and you need python libs installed). It works great. It's in a 
tiny window that doesn't take up too much space (I usually just move it to the bottom of the screen 
over the status bar, where it should be anyway). The only problem I have with it is having to go Tools > 
Macros > Run Macro every time I open a new document.

And for the person who recommended AbiWord. I've tried that before and don't care for it. I'm most 
using this on a laptop with limited screen space. I want my OOo Writer window to be maximized in the 
screen without any big, obtrusive overlay windows taking up too much space (which AbiWord's live 
word count window did).
Comment 16 bourgwick 2009-08-09 17:55:38 UTC
Another journalist chiming in here. I was extremely psyched to finally get the
hell out of Microsoft's grip, but within seconds I was stymied by the lack of
word count feature. It's something I use on a literally second-to-second basis,
both to see the current total word count and to highlight smaller sections that
need whittling down. 
Comment 17 eric.savary 2009-09-14 19:14:19 UTC
*** Issue 105066 has been marked as a duplicate of this issue. ***
Comment 18 Rainer Bielefeld 2009-11-22 12:33:27 UTC
*** Issue 107110 has been marked as a duplicate of this issue. ***
Comment 19 owenschaefer 2009-12-02 04:18:29 UTC
Yes, still sincerely hoping for this to be added. At work, I write numerous
short paragraphs/articles which are limited by word counts of anywhere between
80 and 300. When you are dealing with very small word counts, it's far easier to
edit things down or up to the desired number when you can see the count live. I
have a macro, which does help, but I'd far rather see the word count somewhere
unobtrusive within the actual window. Please. Surely this can't be overly
difficult to do, and it's pretty much my only complaint. Hope it can be
implemented soon. Thanks.
Comment 20 daniellante 2009-12-02 13:09:18 UTC
about the macro of few posts back in the topic, does it work on MAC too?

I really need an utility like this, cause I create italian subtitles for job, and  I need to know the number of 
characters for every line, and it's really uncomfortable to select everytime the whole line and pre 
Comment 21 eric.savary 2010-01-01 11:44:03 UTC
*** Issue 107758 has been marked as a duplicate of this issue. ***
Comment 22 redmosquitomm 2010-01-05 17:19:13 UTC
I'm actually surprised developers are marking some of these other issues as 
"duplicates." Having a word count window one can load is certainly not a 
replacement for a live and easily visible word count (the singlemost useful feature 
in any word processor from my standpoint); same goes for that macro - close but 
not a replacement.

PLEASE consider this a priority feature to either remedy in an update or via an 
Comment 23 thierrym 2010-01-17 23:08:10 UTC
The issue 18004 (with 75 votes) seems to be a duplicate ?
Comment 24 jbf.faure 2010-02-06 14:22:55 UTC
In case of such kind of information is made available in status bar, I think it
is necessary to be able to choose which information have to be shown because
there is not enough room in status bar to show all requested data. I do not like
to have to work with maximized window for the only reason that otherwise status
bar is truncated.

Regards. JBF
Comment 25 daniellante 2010-02-06 14:28:19 UTC
But are they actually working on improving this feature? Is it on the "next-to-do-features"?
Comment 26 ptram 2010-04-11 11:50:27 UTC
It seems there are no news on this feature in the latest release. Maybe there are problems with live count? 
It sounds strange, since several other wps have it.
Comment 27 sabqat9 2010-06-15 16:36:43 UTC
I work as a writer / journalist and keeping track of the word count on my
writing is a must.  I switched to Open Office because of similar features
compared to Microsoft Office.  The only option I miss is the ability to monitor
the word count without having to open menus.  I am sure that other writers in
the business would appreciate the addition of this feature.  

Comment 28 mcdragon 2010-07-21 13:57:36 UTC
This is also a very useful tool for translators - we need character count and 
character count (without spaces). MS Office has had this since forever. When is going to introduce it. Even Google Docs has a better word count than!!
Comment 29 kenirving 2010-07-21 14:57:17 UTC
As I hope the developers can see from this string of comments, there is a need
for this, especially at the professional level. Having a running word/character
count built in is a necessity, and everyone like me, mcdragon, etc. who needs it
right now has to use workarounds. Evidently it is not all that difficult to
actually do it just by using the existing wordcount macro, which Yawar did four
years ago (referenced in other messages: It works
well, but it is still a floating toolbar instead of something that starts
automatically and nests somewhere in that half-empty status bar. I'm not trying
to minimize the actual work that might be involved, since obviously adding this
feature requires more than just stuffing a python script into a complex program.
But I think most other wp software has such a feature at this point - and having
it available would make it that much easier for writing, editing, translating
Office users to switch.
Comment 30 eric.savary 2010-09-16 07:07:59 UTC
*** Issue 114536 has been marked as a duplicate of this issue. ***
Comment 31 higuita 2010-09-17 02:14:25 UTC
Copying the report from dupe 114536, to try to increase priority of this bug, as
a "simple" feature could help OOo conquest the heart of a very important group.
This might look for developers a low profile feature, that nobody needs, but its
"the" feature that is blocking many migrations:

I work every few month with several journalists and one thing they always
complain every time i manage for then to test openoffice is the openoffice word
count is too basic. Please remember that journalists have limits for
words/characters for their articles and this is a major feature for then.

by talking with then, i figure that a status bar or a special toolbar with the
word count stats. Maybe the status bar should have a selected text
character/word count (similar to the selected cells SUM in calc) and a new
toolbar with all the word count statistics, so people could customize the
toolbars with the stats they want... update it manually or every X
seconds/minutes or even if the user is idle 

this is a feature that must be included in the main openoffice (even if not
enable by default if you want), as most journalists are too lazy (and most of
the time, without enough knowledge) to search and install extensions when they
have MSoffice ready to be used.

this feature is more important than you might imagine, as journalist make
reviews, express opinions, generate a free and important publicity. Even if the
journalist is not a tech one, they show co-workers and friends their tools, so
it they are happy, other might try it. Managing to conqueror the heart of a
journalist is more valuable than most users, just suppressed by CEO and CTO users.

This is a simple feature that might do the difference for this target group (and
a big bonus for all other that need word count)

Comment 32 vitriol 2010-09-17 16:09:40 UTC
Add me to CC
Comment 33 Marcus 2010-09-20 09:32:38 UTC
*** Issue 114599 has been marked as a duplicate of this issue. ***
Comment 34 45singularity 2010-10-14 10:47:39 UTC
This is an absolute definite MUST HAVE!

This would be brilliant, immensely useful.

I was having trouble logging in to post this comment but at last I am here to
say YES, YES and YES again. Please, please, please: Add a character/word count
in the status bar!  
Comment 35 ashleigh.anne 2011-03-27 02:13:07 UTC
I'm a student and a fiction writer, so having a constant word count as I type would be immensely helpful for me. Having to bring up the dialog box every time is a hassle and irritating.
Comment 36 vulcain 2013-01-28 09:41:08 UTC
Resolve in LibreOffice 3.6:
Comment 37 Ariel Constenla-Haile 2013-01-28 14:30:54 UTC
(In reply to comment #36)
> Resolve in LibreOffice 3.6:

This is OpenOffice bugzilla. I find it inadmissible that you promote a fork using OpenOffice resources.
Comment 38 Ariel Constenla-Haile 2013-01-28 14:33:52 UTC
Since OpenOffice 4.0, extensions developer can add controls to the status bar, so this can be implemented in an extension. See the example on the SDK:

It is an example implementing the feature requested in this bug.
Comment 39 Brittney 2013-06-16 17:05:22 UTC
Hi, I'm a writer that has been writing a book for the past 13 years. Although I have the book done in my head I need to be able to write it out. A word count would be helpful to see at a glace so I may reach daily goals and actually get this book on it's way to being published. 
Thank you for reading my only complaint. I love this program.
Comment 40 Kurt Guenther 2014-05-18 14:12:23 UTC
In general, the status bar should be configurable.
Comment 41 Ariel Constenla-Haile 2014-05-18 15:15:53 UTC
(In reply to Kurt Guenther from comment #40)
> In general, the status bar should be configurable.

There is a request to make the statusbar customizable via Tools - Customize..., but I can't find it right now. Customization was possible in OOo 1
Comment 42 oooforum 2014-11-10 09:18:43 UTC
Extension is available:
Comment 43 B. Jerew 2015-02-27 22:05:09 UTC
a HUGE thank you for adding this functionality!
Comment 44 oooforum 2015-03-01 14:21:55 UTC
(In reply to B. Jerew from comment #43)
> a HUGE thank you for adding this functionality!
Did you read comments?
This function is provide with an extension.
Comment 45 B. Jerew 2015-03-03 14:28:24 UTC
(In reply to oooforum from comment #44)
> (In reply to B. Jerew from comment #43)
> > a HUGE thank you for adding this functionality!
> Did you read comments?
> This function is provide with an extension.

That is why I said "Thank You"