1. madhoca
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    madhoca Contributing Member Contributor

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    checking frequency of words

    Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by madhoca, Nov 7, 2009.

    I'm going to embarrass myself myself here by asking what I'm sure is a really basic question for Word users. But anyway...
    There are some words that I know I use far too frequently, e.g. 'seem', and I'm sure there must be a way to check the number of times used/highlight the word in a Word doc. Now I'm aware of this weakness in my writing I'm avoiding as much repetition of words as before, but all the same it would be a help...
     
  2. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    I've written quicky programs for tabulating word frequency reports (from text files, as a programming exercise), and it isn't very difficult. But the output isn't really all that useful, because words lika a, an and, the, I, he, she (etc) dominate the high frequency slots.

    You get far more useful information by simply reading over your work looking for words that stand out as overused. It isn't the word frequency that matters so much as whether it comes across as unusually often-used.
     
  3. madhoca
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    madhoca Contributing Member Contributor

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    I see what you mean Cog, but what I was wanting was just to check one word in the document rather than a general count of high frequancy words...
     
  4. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    In the past few days a couple of threads have been revived concerning the use of other platforms designed more specifically to the story/novel writing process. Both programs I use have features which will give specific count of any word you chose and even highlight them within your document to show you where the little boogers are.

    Liquid Story Binder does a good job of making the feature easy to use. The program is free and fully functioning for the first 30 days after you d/l it, so no cost to you. If you only needed to check one doc, you might consider the program for its trial period, do a copy past of your doc into the program and take advantage of the tools within.
     
  5. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Nearly any word processr can search on a particular word and give you a count of how many times it occurs. Microsoft Word allows you to highlight all the occurrences, and gives you the count at the same time (the highlighting is not persistent in this case).
     
  6. madhoca
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    madhoca Contributing Member Contributor

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    Thanks guys!
     
  7. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    here's how to do it...

    if you're in a word doc, highlight the word you want to check... then...

    click on 'edit'

    click on 'find' in the edit menu [a binoculars icon]

    your word should show up in the little slot window... if not, type it in

    check the 'highlight all items found' box

    click on 'find all'
    [if the word can be part of another word, or has other versions and you only want to find that exact same one, then click on 'more' and then on 'find whole words only']

    when they're all highlighted in your document, you can select a highlight color from your document toolbar and they'll all remain highlighted till you can deal with them...

    otherwise, as soon as you click on anything in your document, the black highlight will disappear...
     
  8. SonnehLee
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    SonnehLee Contributing Member Contributor

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    Ditto what Maia said. But you can also just go to edit => find and you can type in the word and it should tell you.

    But what Cog said really is the best way to tell if a word is overused.
     
  9. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    what i gave instructions for does tell how many times the word occurs... i just didn't mention that part...
     

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