Using Text Statistics to View Word Frequency

Most writers have words that they overuse in their writing — just, back, really, it. Those are just a few of the words I really misuse, when I look back on it.

Scrivener has a built-in Text Statistics feature that can help you catch your own worn-out word choices. (In order to access Text Statistics, a document must have the keyboard focus, meaning the cursor must be blinking in the Editor pane.) Follow these steps:

1. Select the desired item in the Binder.

You can select more than one item, but if you get the Corkboard or Outliner, choose View⇒Scrivenings to see the Editor.

2. Choose ProjectText Statistics.

If the menu option is grayed out, go back and make sure the Editor pane is active by clicking in it, and then try this step again.

The Statistics window appears, displaying counts for words, characters, paragraphs, and lines, as well as a Word Frequency section.

3. To view the word frequency statistics, click the triangle next to Word Frequency to expand it.

Figure 14-8 shows the Word Frequency count and bar graph, sorted in descending order by Count to show the most-used words at the top. Pronouns, prepositions, and conjunctions generally show up first, but scroll down to see other words that appear frequently in your work.

4. (Optional) Sort the Word Frequency by clicking the desired column heading.

A sort triangle appears in the heading, pointing up to indicate the column is sorted in ascending order.

5. (Optional) ...

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