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I know Word shows you the Word count, but is it possible to set a target word count, and then make it display the percentage of completion?

So for instance, if you'd set the target at 1800 words, and you had 900 words, it'd show 50% somewhere.

A solution for LibreOffice would be fine too.

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Pretty sure there's no way to do this in vanilla Word. You could always write your own Macro that gets the word count, prompts for the goal count, then pops up the percentage in a message box... Seems kind of a waste of time though IMHO. – kevlar1818 May 23 '12 at 15:39
@kevlar1818: it's for a friend, he wanted this to track progress in college essays, where there's often a set number of words. – houbysoft May 23 '12 at 16:46
up vote 5 down vote accepted

The word count is available as field {NUMWORDS}. You could create a custom field that shows the result of a formula:

{=(100/<target>) * {NUMWORDS} \# "0 %"}

If you put thie field into the header / footer of the page, you'll have a display of the percent completion. This value won't update automatically, but it's no problem to write a one-line macro ActiveDocument.Fields.Update and define a keybord shortcut. You could even "refactor" that field and define the target value as variable.

If you enter the formula above, take care not to insert {NUMWORDS} literally - Word won't accept the formula. Instead, create the formula without {NUMWORDS} in a first step, then edit it and insert the NUMWORDS field using the ribbon.

Since the word count is available as field also in LibreOffice, i assume a similar solution would be possible there, too, but at a first glance i didn't find a way to define the function.


A quick and dirty (!) VBA macro may look as follows:

Sub count()
    MsgBox "Target Count Ratio: " & Int(100 / 1800 * Int(ActiveDocument.BuiltInDocumentProperties("Number of Words"))) & "%"
End Sub

It just pops up a message box displaying the current target count ratio.

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Maybe the spacebar can send a space to the document and also activate the macro? Or change the macro to do the computation and then send the space to the document – jftuga May 23 '12 at 16:49
@jftuga: I think this should depend on the count of fields to update in the document. Just updating the word count isn't the problem, but updating the contents on exery space may lead to a bad user experience. Better bind it to a button or to a specific shortcut instead. – tohuwawohu May 23 '12 at 16:51
Thanks, the VBA macro looks great. – houbysoft May 23 '12 at 17:22

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