I am using TeXCount to perform a word count. I am using %TC:macro \macroname n (http://app.uio.no/ifi/texcount/faq.html#newmacro) to treat macros differently (for example I have a 'to-do' macro). Can I count the contents of these macros and put this count in a custom category for HTML output? Their other option ("count text as other text") puts the count in the same category as captions, etc. which is undesired.


\todo{Insert some text here.}

Given a 'to-do' macro todo which simply colours the enclosed text in red, I seek a TeXCount command like %TC:macro \todo [my_category] which counts the number of words enclosed in \todo and associates it with my_category. It should produce something like the following.

File: mwe.tex
Encoding: ascii
Words in text: 0
Words in headers: 0
Words outside text (captions, etc.): 0
Number of headers: 0
Number of floats/tables/figures: 0
Number of math inlines: 0
Number of math displayed: 0
Number of words in my_category: 4
  text+headers+captions (#headers/#floats/#inlines/#displayed/#my_category)
0+0+0 (0/0/0/0/4) _top_

I appreciate that this may not be possible.


  • 2
    Thank you for your question and welcome to the TeX.SX! Could you please edit your post and add fully compilable (minimum working) example (MWE)? It would be a fine starting point for the solvers.
    – Malipivo
    Commented Apr 14, 2014 at 10:04
  • I do something not entirely unlike this. In my case, I remove some extra text and count the number of occurrences of a particular kind of macro created in the preamble. It would be straightforward to adapt this to get a word count of specific parts of the text. The way I do it involves creating a temporary file and feeding that to texcount. Essentially you would create two such files and give counts for each. I use a script which wraps texcount and does all this automatically. The details depend on your code and OS, though. But that's the basic strategy.
    – cfr
    Commented Apr 14, 2014 at 10:31

1 Answer 1


Assuming you have a recent version of TeXcount (version 3), you can add more counters and use these to count words.

%TC:newcounter mine My words
%TC:macro \mytext [mine]
Text inside \mytext{my macro} now gets counted separately.

The syntax of newcounter is

%TC:newcounter _name_ _description_

where the description may consist of several words (i.e. may contain space) and will be used as as the counter description in the summary.

I guess the TeXcount FAQ could do with an update...

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