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Dynamically count and return number of words in a section

I'd like to include the word count of my LaTeX document in the document itself and not have to worry about updating it. All solutions I've found so far involve external scripts.

Yes, I could write a build file that counts the words, modifies the TeX file, and then builds the PDF. However, my IDE builds everythings itself so that I don't have access to the build process. Can't that be done in pure TeX / LaTeX?

  • Interesting question. One would think that this should be possible, but I can't find any solutions out there, and my TeX-fu is too weak to attempt to write it.
    – Thomas
    Apr 13, 2012 at 19:10
  • 1
    With -shell-escape you could run something like latexcount during compilation.
    – Werner
    Apr 13, 2012 at 22:02
  • Thanks, that's a great pointer! I'll try some things sometime during the weekend.
    – lsinger
    Apr 14, 2012 at 11:48
  • Great, that worked. What's the thing to do now, should I answer the question myself? Werner, you could've created an answer instead of a comment, right?
    – lsinger
    Apr 14, 2012 at 12:24


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