The ShareLaTeX word count seems to be inaccurate. My manuscript has a ShareLaTeX word count of 9,910, but a PDF word count app online puts the count at 12,128. Word gives a similar estimate. TeXShop gives count as 10,218. Not sure if difference lies in omitting references and tables. Does anyone know the parameters of the ShareLaTeX counting algorithm? What is/isn't counted? Why or why not?

closed as off-topic by Phelype Oleinik, Stefan Pinnow, Bobyandbob, Troy, TeXnician Mar 15 '18 at 16:35

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

  • "This question does not fall within the scope of TeX, LaTeX or related typesetting systems as defined in the help center." – Phelype Oleinik, Stefan Pinnow, Bobyandbob, Troy, TeXnician
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  • Welcome to TeX.SX! Maybe this would be a question for the ShareLaTeX support, who knows the algorithm. – TeXnician Mar 15 '18 at 6:13
  • Reply from ShareLaTeX: "The word count tool will only count the words in the main body of the file, and count the words in the headings separately. Captions, references and footnotes won't be counted." – J.Bos Mar 15 '18 at 17:15

ShareLaTex uses TeXcount (https://www.sharelatex.com/blog/2015/09/15/word-count.html, http://app.uio.no/ifi/texcount/).

You could also experiment yourself: make a small document with some regular text, a caption, a footnote, a table etc, count the words by hand and compare that to the ShareLaTeX count.

Note that word counting itself can be done in many different ways with different results (Is there any way to do a correct word count of a LaTeX document?), for different goals you may need different methods (or decide that word counts are not very useful after all).

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