word counts in org-mode


Not that great of an experience out of the box, as far as I could tell.

I tried a few different things.

The org-wc package, and the wc-mode package.

1. org-wc

org-wc is good because it has put some effort into only counting the relevant words in an org file. e.g. it will ignore subheadings marked as COMMENT, or it'll ignore things in #+begincomment blocks. This is exactly what I need.

It also can display word count per headline, which is also really useful.

But it feels a bit flaky in the activation of these word counts. org-wc-display is handy, but I found it a bit annoying that it is not persistent. Also I'd like to see these counts in the imenu sidebar. org-wc-count-subtrees doesn't seem to work at all for me.

2. wc-mode

This displays a nice little running word count in your mode line. However, it naively counts all words.

Someone here says you can overwrite the count function to use the one from org-wc (org-word-count-aux), but it didn't work for me as is.

In principle it should definitely be possible: https://github.com/bnbeckwith/wc-mode#counting-functions

It's something about using it with org-word-count-aux that is the problem. I hacked around a bit and got it to partially work by hardcoding a value for rstart, but then it stopped working again and I got fed up.

3. Tweaks

So then I thought I'd try running org-wc-display on a timer, so as to keep it permanently displayed at least. I did that, but it is set to clear itself everytime you make a new insert, which resulted in an annoying flickering interaction between that clearing and my timer running.

So in the end, I just set a keybinding for org-wc-display so I can run it easily whenever I want.

(spacemacs/declare-prefix "o" "own-menu")
(spacemacs/set-leader-keys "ow" 'org-wc-display nil)

4. Elsewhere

4.1. In my garden

Notes that link to this note (AKA backlinks).

4.3. Mentions

This page last updated: 2023-04-30 Sun 15:42. Map. Recent changes. Source. Peer Production License.