Counting Words

by | Apr 29, 2008 | Technical | 1 comment

Sooner or later as a voice-actor, you’re going to have to count words…if you want to get paid what you’re worth.

Sure, there are other methods, formulas, algorithms and rules that help you quote prices for your work, but some of the best metrics come back to a word count.

I’ve seen all sorts of formulas for charging by word count, and I may blog about that on a future post, but my bottom line is first, you have to be able to count the words.

Sounds simple enough…open the document in Word and click the ‘Word Count’ option under ‘Tools’.  Bingo!

OK, that works a good bit of the time, but what about a .pdf file or .rtf, or .txt, or .csv, or .htm, or .pps, or .ppt or .xls etc.?  Then what?

Some new office suites that look a lot like Microsoft’s set of Office programs now open and convert .pdf files to .doc files. Sun Microsystem’s Open Office comes to mind…and it’s free.  HERE‘s the link.  One of my favorite softtware programs: Serif‘s PagePlus translates .pdf as well, and will do a word count.

But I ran across some fairly inexpensive shareware the other day that will do a word count on just about any file type you could imagine.

It’s called AnyMini W, and you can find it on the web HERE.  When you visit that site, you’ll also see it offers line count software, and combinations of line and word count software, as well as character count, cut ‘n’ paste word count, and more.

This is not an endorsement, and I have not personally tried AnyMini W… so I can’t speak to it’s reliability.  If you’ve tried it, let us know what you think.

And if you have a sure-fire formula for charging by the word, or a word count forumla that you’ve found your clients really like…I’m all ears.




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1 Comment

  1. Karen Commins

    Hi, Dave. Thanks for the link to the shareware. I have seen some other programs including this piece of freeware:
    I haven’t tried it or other programs. I usually copy stuff to Word and let Word count for me.
    I have been burned by quoting a price without seeing a script. Someone else’s idea of word count isn’t always quite correct! 🙂 Therefore, I get the script and count the words before quoting a price. I divide the word count by 150 to get an approximate number of minutes. From that point, I can further divide the minutes by 60 to determine the number of hours in the finished product. I know how much time I generally need to record and edit a finished hour and base the quote accordingly.
    Thanks for posting this useful topic, and best wishes for your continued success!
    Karen Commins


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