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NeoOffice :: View topic - display live word count in status bar
display live word count in status bar
 
This forum is locked: you cannot post, reply to, or edit topics.   This topic is locked: you cannot edit posts or make replies.    NeoOffice Forum Index -> NeoOffice New Feature Requests
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add a live word count display to status bar in Writer?
yes please, current word count AND optional words-remaining countdown to a user-entered target
40%
 40%  [ 4 ]
yes please, current word count ONLY
60%
 60%  [ 6 ]
no, neither
0%
 0%  [ 0 ]
Total Votes : 10

Author Message
vj1726a
Agent


Joined: Mar 12, 2012
Posts: 10

PostPosted: Mon Mar 12, 2012 6:27 am    Post subject: display live word count in status bar Reply with quote

Thanks for a great job. Please add a live word count in the status bar, or the option to show this in the status bar (near where Writer already shows a live page count).

Even better, be able to optionally display both current word total and a "remaining" count to some target -- x / y, where x is a continuously updated current word count, and y is "words to go" to some target value z one can enter and update manually, perhaps with a right click (i.e. y = z-x). If z is left unspecified, it just shows current word count x.
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pluby
The Architect
The Architect


Joined: Jun 16, 2003
Posts: 11856
Location: California, USA

PostPosted: Mon Mar 12, 2012 8:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am pretty confident that it is feasible for us to display the word count in the status bar by tapping into the NeoOffice's underlying word count code. But one question: have you tried any of the live word count OpenOffice.org extensions like OO.o Live Word Count.

From my quick Google search, there are other OpenOffice.org live word count extensions as well so my question is has any of the extensions successfully implemented live word count? Also, does performance when typing drop when using any those extensions?

Patrick
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vj1726a
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Joined: Mar 12, 2012
Posts: 10

PostPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2012 7:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the suggestion, just had time to try it. FYI didn't work:

I downloaded the most recent fix#4 from the link above and installed the macro using the directions at:

http://user.services.openoffice.org/en/forum/viewtopic.php?f=7&t=22555

But when I restarted NeoOffice and tried running the macro, no luck. First couple of times running the macro there was a window that flashed too briefly for me to see it then disappeared, third time it locked NeoOffice (spinning wheel / needed a Force Quit). Oh well.

I also spent a few hours last month looking for live word count extensions and macros for OO (before I posted the NO feature request) and when I read through on user experiences installing them and getting them to work, it seems like it's common for users to have trouble with live word count macros written for OO running smoothly on NeoOffice. So I didn't try any of those.
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pluby
The Architect
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Joined: Jun 16, 2003
Posts: 11856
Location: California, USA

PostPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2012 8:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

So it sounds like there really aren't any extensions that work reliably so I think bundling a third party extension to implement this new feature is not a good idea.

I think that it is feasible for us to implement dynamic word counting ourselves within NeoOffice using the same code that OpenOffice.org uses for the word count dialog. However, I am very worried that this feature would really slow down NeoOffice as we would need to invoke OpenOffice.org's "recount all words in the document" logic after each key press event so I think that this feature should be disabled by default and users would enable it via a new user preference.

Since this new feature request is feasible, the only other thing that we need to see is whether enough other donors also want this feature. Essentially, we fund new features by spending current donations to the implement the new feature and then, hopefully, the new feature generates new donations that replenishes the donations used to implement the new feature.

I have a pretty good idea of the amount of engineering work needed to implement this new feature. It is quite a bit of work so, if at least 15 NeoOffice donors reply to this post that they also want this new feature, then we will have a pretty good level of confidence that the new feature will generate the necessary donations and I will then start working on the new feature.

Is this a feature that any other NeoOffice donors want to see added to NeoOffice? If so, please let us know.

Patrick
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amayze
The Merovingian


Joined: Oct 24, 2005
Posts: 561
Location: Edinburgh, Scotland

PostPosted: Wed Aug 08, 2012 8:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Have you seen this one? https://bitbucket.org/yawaramin/oo.o-live-word-count/wiki/Home

I've got it working in NeoOffice 3.3 Beta 2 Patch 1

Andy.
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pluby
The Architect
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Joined: Jun 16, 2003
Posts: 11856
Location: California, USA

PostPosted: Wed Aug 08, 2012 9:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

amayze wrote:
Have you seen this one? https://bitbucket.org/yawaramin/oo.o-live-word-count/wiki/Home

I've got it working in NeoOffice 3.3 Beta 2 Patch 1


I have found that their Python script causes random deadlocks with NeoOffice's underlying OpenOffice.org code when run on my Mac OS X 10.6 machine so I recommend that you not use their Python script for important documents until you have tested it thoroughly on your machine.

Patrick
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yoxi
Cipher


Joined: Sep 07, 2004
Posts: 1799
Location: Dawlish, Devon

PostPosted: Wed Aug 08, 2012 11:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This gets my vote - the latest release of LibreOffice has this, so maybe their code is available?
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pluby
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 08, 2012 11:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

yoxi wrote:
This gets my vote - the latest release of LibreOffice has this, so maybe their code is available?


We are now up to 2 votes out the 15 minimum. The minimum votes required does not change. Finding, extracting, and tweaking the ever-changing OpenOffice.org and LibreOffice code into NeoOffice's older OpenOffice.org 3.1.1 code is no small task and may not even be feasible.

Patrick
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amayze
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Joined: Oct 24, 2005
Posts: 561
Location: Edinburgh, Scotland

PostPosted: Wed Aug 08, 2012 12:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

pluby wrote:
amayze wrote:
Have you seen this one? https://bitbucket.org/yawaramin/oo.o-live-word-count/wiki/Home

I've got it working in NeoOffice 3.3 Beta 2 Patch 1

I have found that their Python script causes random deadlocks with NeoOffice's underlying OpenOffice.org code when run on my Mac OS X 10.6 machine so I recommend that you not use their Python script for important documents until you have tested it thoroughly on your machine.

Patrick

That explains why NeoOffice hung when I tried to quit it tonight!

Given that in my experience need for word count = important document, and my wife is about to do a Masters Degree, I'll vote for this.

Andy
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yoxi
Cipher


Joined: Sep 07, 2004
Posts: 1799
Location: Dawlish, Devon

PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2012 12:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've got this LibreOffice wordcount extension working fine in NeoOffice at the moment, and tied to a keyboard shortcut - but it'd be much more handy to have the wordcount constantly in view in the status bar.

http://extensions.libreoffice.org/extension-center/instant-word-count/pscreleasefolder.2011-09-10.1251884787/20110910.0.1
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djpimley
The Anomaly
(earlier version)


Joined: Jun 11, 2006
Posts: 481
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2012 12:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'll vote for this.

A suggestion to get around the potential performance hit: how about more of a "smart update" rather than a constant live update, i.e. take note when the user starts typing in the document, but don't start doing a live update of the word count. When the user pauses typing for more than 1 second, do a word count update.

I'll wager that not many users can glance at the word count whilst continuing to type at 60 wpm. Smile
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pluby
The Architect
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Joined: Jun 16, 2003
Posts: 11856
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2012 7:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

djpimley wrote:
A suggestion to get around the potential performance hit: how about more of a "smart update" rather than a constant live update, i.e. take note when the user starts typing in the document, but don't start doing a live update of the word count. When the user pauses typing for more than 1 second, do a word count update.


If and when this new feature request gets to 15 votes, I think that try to backport the LibreOffice 3.6 code is the safest option. I briefly tested LibreOffice 3.6.0 and pasting in 10,000 word chunks results in nearly immediate update to the word count in the status bar. Also, when typing the word count does not update until there is a break in typing. So, I believe that the LibreOffice code has tried to minimize the performance hit by keeping an incremental count of words when you type and by using a timer to update the status bar periodically.

One question for everyone: why is this feature so desired? I assume that it is very useful for print and online news writers to crank out a article of so many words quickly, but I really am clueless as to why writers desire more than the occasional check that has been available in NeoOffice and OpenOffice.org. I will defiinitely backport the LibreOffice code if there are enough votes so I am not looking for justification, I am just genuinely curious what makes word count such an important metric when writing.

Patrick
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yoxi
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Joined: Sep 07, 2004
Posts: 1799
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2012 7:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's very valuable for students - we're constantly having to keep an eye on the word count of what we're submitting, whilst tweaking the content etc., because we get marked down for going over/under the required word count.
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vj1726a
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Joined: Mar 12, 2012
Posts: 10

PostPosted: Fri Aug 10, 2012 6:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

>I will defiinitely backport the LibreOffice code if there are enough
> votes so I am not looking for justification, I am just
> genuinely curious what makes word count such an
> important metric when writing.
...
> Patrick
> NeoOffice engineer


Hi, Patrick. In addition to needing to reach a minimum word count, at times, when writing professionally, there is the opposite -- a word limit, so it's really helpful when editing to be able to see how one is doing and when one has cut just enough to be able to stop editing. (To paraphrase Mark Twain, I would have written a shorter letter but didn't have time.)

Also, as a published writer, another benefit is that I use it like some people use a Pomodoro timer -- as a marker of progress that day or even that hour, how long before I can take another break. (To paraphrase Hemingway, writing is easy, just sit down at a typewriter. And bleed. Word count lets you know when you can stop bleeding and take a tea break! Although I suppose Hemingway might have had something stronger...) Having to take a look in a menu to see what the count is requires an extra step, a break in concentration, and is not nearly as useful as seeing it all the time. It's the same reason that it's nice to have a clock on screen in the menu bar, always visible.

The page count in the status bar is not nearly fine resolution enough for measuring progress during the day, and page count is not accurate when writing in web layout view (on a laptop this gives extra vertical space). Plus page count sometimes can go up because of a lot of short paragraphs, whereas word count is a better estimate of actual project progress. Lastly, most publishers go by word count in terms of targets and limits, so this affects professional writers as well as students.

To the person who suggested the Python script -- thanks, I tried the Python script but couldn't get it to work. Won't try the Libre Office extension that requires a hot key as it's the constant in-my-face reminder of progress that is helpful.

As another person noted, the "real time" update could indeed be as little as once every minute and still be useful, it doesn't actually have to be literally instant. (Even better if a word countdown is possible.)

Again, thanks for considering this -- and to other authors / writers / students who use NeoOffice and would benefit from a visible word count, please tell your friends and encourage them to vote if they would benefit from this feature and use NeoOffice! Looks like we only need 9 more votes!


Last edited by vj1726a on Fri Aug 10, 2012 9:13 pm; edited 2 times in total
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SteveRead
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Joined: Jan 14, 2007
Posts: 46

PostPosted: Fri Aug 10, 2012 8:32 pm    Post subject: Why word count Reply with quote

As to why a live word count is useful. I'm an academic psychologist and we often have word limits on abstracts for articles and convention presentations. And many journals have word limits on articles. So for all those situations a live word count is useful.

As for the LibreOffice word count extension. It doesn't require a hot key. It gets added as a menu command and if you select the menu command it puts up a little window with a live word count.
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