Word Count Analyzer is a Ruby gem that analyzes a string for potential areas of the text that might cause word count discrepancies depending on the tool used. It also provides comprehensive configuration options so you can easily customize how different gray areas should be counted and find the right word count for your purposes.
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Word Count Analyzer

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See what word count gray areas might be affecting your word count.

Word Count Analyzer is a Ruby gem that analyzes a string for potential areas of the text that might cause word count discrepancies depending on the tool used. It also provides comprehensive configuration options so you can easily customize how different gray areas should be counted and find the right word count for your purposes.

If you prioritize speed over accuracy, then I recommend not using this gem. There are most definitely faster gems for getting a word count. However, if accuracy is important, and you want control over the gray areas that affect word count, then this gem is for you.

##Install

Ruby
Supports Ruby 2.1.0 and above

gem install word_count_analyzer

Ruby on Rails
Add this line to your application’s Gemfile:

gem 'word_count_analyzer'

##Live Demo

Try out a live demo of Word Count Analyzer in the browser.

Usage

Analyze the word count gray areas of a string

Common word count gray areas include (more details below):

  • Ellipses
  • Hyperlinks
  • Contractions
  • Hyphenated Words
  • Dates
  • Numbers
  • Numbered Lists
  • XML and HTML tags
  • Forward slashes and backslashes
  • Punctuation

Other gray areas not covered by this gem:

  • Headers
  • Footers
  • Hidden Text (specific to Microsoft Word)
text = "This string has a date: Monday, November 3rd, 2011. I was thinking... it also shouldn't have too many contractions, maybe 4. <html> Some HTML and a hyphenated-word</html>. Don't count stray punctuation ? ? ? Please visit the ____________ ------------ ........ go-to site: https://www.example-site.com today. Let's add a list 1. item a 2. item b 3. item c. Now let's add he/she/it or a c:\\Users\\john. 2/15/2012 is the date! { HYPERLINK 'http://www.hello.com' }"
WordCountAnalyzer::Analyzer.new.analyze(text)

# =>   {
#        "ellipsis": 1,
#        "hyperlink": 2,
#        "contraction": 4,
#        "hyphenated_word": 2, 
#        "date": 2,
#        "number": 1,
#        "numbered_list": 3,
#        "xhtml": 1,
#        "forward_slash": 1,
#        "backslash": 1,
#        "dotted_line": 1,
#        "dashed_line": 1,
#        "underscore": 1,
#        "stray_punctuation": 5
#      }

Count the words in a string

text = "This string has a date: Monday, November 3rd, 2011. I was thinking... it also shouldn't have too many contractions, maybe 2. <html> Some HTML and a hyphenated-word</html>. Don't count punctuation ? ? ? Please visit the ____________ ------------ ........ go-to site: https://www.example-site.com today. Let's add a list \n\n1. item a \n\n2. item b \n\n3. item c. Now let's add he/she/it or a c:\\Users\\john. 2/15/2012 is the date! { HYPERLINK 'http://www.hello.com' }"

WordCountAnalyzer::Counter.new.count(text)
# => 64

# Overrides all settings to match the way Pages handles word count. 
# N.B. The developers of Pages may change the algorithm at any time so this should just be as an approximation.
WordCountAnalyzer::Counter.new.pages_count(text)
# => 76 (or 79 if the list items are not formatted as a list)

# Overrides all settings to match the way Microsoft Word and wc (Unix) handle word count. 
# N.B. The developers of these tools may change the algorithm at any time so this should just be as an approximation.
WordCountAnalyzer::Counter.new.mword_count(text)
# => 71

# Highly configurable (see all options below)
WordCountAnalyzer::Counter.new(
  ellipsis: 'no_special_treatment',
  hyperlink: 'no_special_treatment',
  contraction: 'count_as_multiple',
  hyphenated_word: 'count_as_multiple',
  date: 'count_as_one',
  number: 'ignore',
  numbered_list: 'ignore',
  xhtml: 'keep',
  forward_slash: 'count_as_multiple',
  backslash: 'count_as_multiple',
  dotted_line: 'count',
  dashed_line: 'count',
  underscore: 'count',
  stray_punctuation: 'count'
).count(text)

# => 77

Counter options

ellipsis

default = 'ignore'

  • 'ignore'
    Ignores all ellipses in the word count total.
  • 'no_special_treatment'
    Ellipses will not be searched for in the string.

hyperlink

default = 'count_as_one'

  • 'count_as_one'
    Counts a hyperlink as one word.
  • 'no_special_treatment'
    Hyperlinks will not be searched for in the string. Therefore, how a hyperlink is handled in the word count will depend on other settings (mainly slashes).
  • 'split_at_period'
    Pages will split hyperlinks at a period and count each token as a separate word.

contraction

default = 'count_as_one'

  • 'count_as_one'
    Counts a contraction as one word.
  • 'count_as_multiple'
    Splits a contraction into the words that make it up. Examples:
    • don't => do not (2 words)
    • o'clock => of the clock (3 words)

hyphenated_word

default = 'count_as_one'

  • 'count_as_one'
    Counts a hyphenated word as one word.
  • 'count_as_multiple'
    Breaks a hyphenated word at each hyphen and counts each word separately. Example:
    • devil-may-care (3 words)

date

default = 'no_special_treatment'

  • 'no_special_treatment'
    Dates will not be searched for in the string. Therefore, how a date is handled in the word count will depend on other settings.
  • 'count_as_one'
    Counts a date as one word. This is more commonly seen in translation CAT tools where a date is thought of as a placeable that can usually be automatically translated. Examples:
    • Monday, April 4th, 2011 (1 word)
    • April 4th, 2011 (1 word)
    • 04/04/2011 (1 word)
    • 04.04.2011 (1 word)
    • 2011/04/04 (1 word)
    • 2011-04-04 (1 word)
    • 2003Nov9 (1 word)
    • 2003 November 9 (1 word)
    • 2003-Nov-9 (1 word)
    • and others...

number

default = 'count'

  • 'count'
    Counts a number as one word.
  • 'ignore'
    Ignores any numbers in the string (with the exception of dates and numbered_lists) and does not count them towards the word count.

numbered_list

default = 'count'

  • 'count'
    Counts a number in a numbered list as one word.
  • 'ignore'
    Ignores any numbers that are part of a numbered list and does not count them towards the word count.

xhtml

default = 'remove'

  • 'remove'
    Removes any XML or HTML opening and closing tags from the string.
  • 'keep'
    Ignores any XML or HTML in the string.

forward_slash

default = 'count_as_multiple_except_dates'

  • 'count_as_multiple_except_dates'
    Separates any tokens that include a forward slash (except dates) at the slash(s) and counts each token individually. Example:
    • she/he/it 4/25/2014 (4 words)
  • 'count_as_multiple'
    Separates any tokens that include a forward slash at the slash(s) and counts each token individually. Whether dates, hyperlinks and xhtml are included depends on what is set for those options. Example:
    • she/he/it (3 words)
  • 'count_as_one'
    Counts any tokens that include a forward slash as one word. Example:
    • she/he/it (1 word)

backslash

default = 'count_as_one'

  • 'count_as_one'
    Counts any tokens that include a backslash as one word. Example:
    • c:\Users\johndoe (1 word)
  • 'count_as_multiple'
    Separates any tokens that include a backslash at the slash(s) and counts each token individually. Example:
    • c:\Users\johndoe (3 words)

dotted_line

default = 'ignore'

  • 'ignore'
    Ignores any dotted lines in the string and does not count them towards the word count.
  • 'count'
    Counts a dotted line as one word.

dashed_line

default = 'ignore'

  • 'ignore'
    Ignores any dashed lines in the string and does not count them towards the word count.
  • 'count'
    Counts a dashed line as one word.

underscore

default = 'ignore'

  • 'ignore'
    Ignores any series of underscores in the string and does not count them towards the word count.
  • 'count'
    Counts a series of underscores as one word.

stray_punctuation

default = 'ignore'

  • 'ignore'
    Ignores any punctuation marks surrounded on both sides by a whitespace in the string and does not count them towards the word count.
  • 'count'
    Counts a punctuation mark surrounded on both sides by a whitespace as one word.

Gray Area Details

Ellipsis

Checks for any occurrences of ellipses in your text. Writers tend to use different formats for ellipsis, and although there are style guides, it is rare that these rules are followed.

Three Consecutive Periods
...
Tool Word Count
Microsoft Word 1
Pages 0
wc (Unix) 1
Four Consecutive Periods
....
Tool Word Count
Microsoft Word 1
Pages 0
wc (Unix) 1
Three Periods With Spaces
 . . .
Tool Word Count
Microsoft Word 3
Pages 0
wc (Unix) 3
Four Periods With Spaces
 . . . .
Tool Word Count
Microsoft Word 4
Pages 0
wc (Unix) 4
Horizontal Ellipsis
Tool Word Count
Microsoft Word 1
Pages 0
wc (Unix) 1

Hyperlink

http://www.example.com
Tool Word Count
Microsoft Word 1
Pages 4
wc (Unix) 1

Contraction

Most tools count contractions as one word. Some might argue a contraction is technically more than one word.

can't
Tool Word Count
Microsoft Word 1
Pages 1
wc (Unix) 1

Hyphenated Word

devil-may-care
Tool Word Count
Microsoft Word 1
Pages 3
wc (Unix) 1

Date

Most word processing tools do not do recognize dates, but translation CAT tools tend to recognize dates as one word or placeable. This gem checks for many date formats including those that include day or month abbreviations. A few examples are listed below (not an exhaustive list).

Date (example A)
Monday, April 4th, 2011
Tool Word Count
Microsoft Word 4
Pages 4
wc (Unix) 4
Date (example B)
04/04/2011
Tool Word Count
Microsoft Word 1
Pages 3
wc (Unix) 1
Date (example C)
04.04.2011
Tool Word Count
Microsoft Word 1
Pages 1
wc (Unix) 1

Number

Simple number
200
Tool Word Count
Microsoft Word 1
Pages 1
wc (Unix) 1
Number with preceding unit
$200
Tool Word Count
Microsoft Word 1
Pages 1
wc (Unix) 1
Number with unit following
50%
Tool Word Count
Microsoft Word 1
Pages 1
wc (Unix) 1

Numbered List

1. List item a 
2. List item b
3. List item c
Tool Word Count
Microsoft Word 12
Pages 9
wc (Unix) 12

XML and HTML Tags

<span class="large-text">Hello world</span> <new-tag>Hello</new-tag>
Tool Word Count
Microsoft Word 4
Pages 12
wc (Unix) 4

Slashes

Forward slash
she/he/it
Tool Word Count
Microsoft Word 1
Pages 3
wc (Unix) 1
Backslash
c:\Users\johndoe
Tool Word Count
Microsoft Word 1
Pages 3
wc (Unix) 1

Punctuation

Dotted line
.........
Tool Word Count
Microsoft Word 1
Pages 0
wc (Unix) 1
………………………
Tool Word Count
Microsoft Word 1
Pages 0
wc (Unix) 1
Dashed line
-----------
Tool Word Count
Microsoft Word 1
Pages 0
wc (Unix) 1
Underscore
____________
Tool Word Count
Microsoft Word 1
Pages 0
wc (Unix) 1
Punctuation mark surrounded by spaces
 : 
Tool Word Count
Microsoft Word 1
Pages 0
wc (Unix) 1

Research

TODO

  • Add language support for languages other than English
    • For most languages this is probably as simple as adding in the translations and abbreviations for months and days.
    • For languages that use a character count (Japanese, Chinese) there will be larger changes. For these languages need to add an option for how to handle Roman words within the text.
  • Improve performace for longer strings (potentially break string into smaller parts and then sum total of each)

Contributing

  1. Fork it ( https://github.com/diasks2/word_count_analyzer/fork )
  2. Create your feature branch (git checkout -b my-new-feature)
  3. Commit your changes (git commit -am 'Add some feature')
  4. Push to the branch (git push origin my-new-feature)
  5. Create a new Pull Request

License

The MIT License (MIT)

Copyright (c) 2015 Kevin S. Dias

Permission is hereby granted, free of charge, to any person obtaining a copy of this software and associated documentation files (the "Software"), to deal in the Software without restriction, including without limitation the rights to use, copy, modify, merge, publish, distribute, sublicense, and/or sell copies of the Software, and to permit persons to whom the Software is furnished to do so, subject to the following conditions:

The above copyright notice and this permission notice shall be included in all copies or substantial portions of the Software.

THE SOFTWARE IS PROVIDED "AS IS", WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO THE WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE AND NONINFRINGEMENT. IN NO EVENT SHALL THE AUTHORS OR COPYRIGHT HOLDERS BE LIABLE FOR ANY CLAIM, DAMAGES OR OTHER LIABILITY, WHETHER IN AN ACTION OF CONTRACT, TORT OR OTHERWISE, ARISING FROM, OUT OF OR IN CONNECTION WITH THE SOFTWARE OR THE USE OR OTHER DEALINGS IN THE SOFTWARE.