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Tech Tuesday: Word frequency in Scrivener

Need to get rid of those echo words in your manuscript?

A while back, I wrote about a web site called Wordle that lets you create a word cloud showing your most commonly used words. Fun and highly distracting, but not very practical for regular use.

As it happens, Scrivener has a built-in feature that will display the frequency of every word in your document, or group of selected scenes. Here's how:

  1. Select the scene or scenes you wish to view.
    (As always, shift+click for contiguous selection, cmd+click for non-contiguous selection.)
  2. Click Edit Scrivenings.
  3. Click inside the editing window and press cmd+A (or Edit, Select All), to select all of the text in the window.
  4. From the View menu, choose Statistics, Text Statistics.
  5. If necessary, click the triangle next to Word frequency to display the chart.
  6. Click on either the Count or Frequency header to sort the words in descending order.

Voila! You'll want to scroll down to get past the, to, he, she, and so on, but it's worth it to have quick and easy access to your most frequently used words.

 Need more help? Sign up for an online class, read more Scrivener articles, or schedule a private training session. If you don't already have it, you can download Scrivener here.


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