I want to count the number of characters within a brief essay, like an abstract or summary thesis, including math symbols. Is there a command like the one in microsoft word (preferences, statistics) that count characters?

  • 1
    Welcome to TeX.SX. It might just be me, but I would consider it very strange (or at least very ambiguous) to include mathematics in a character count. See texcount; it's a separate program installed along with LaTeX. If you paste everything but your preamble into a throw-away document, you can get a round-about estimate with the byte count. Apr 19, 2014 at 6:24
  • Ok, thanks, but I need to write my essay within a rigorous limit of characters. I don't know exactly if for an article abstract mathematicians consider text only.
    – twin prime
    Apr 19, 2014 at 9:33

1 Answer 1


As already mentioned by Sean in the comments, you can use TeXcount: either through the web-service or by running the Perl script (which may already have come along with your TeX installation) using the option -char (or -letter).

Note that this counts letters only, i.e. not including punctuation and spaces (although some special characters are permitted as part of words and thus counted along with letters). An estimate of the number of spaces could be the word count for the same document.

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