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Q&A

Programs that analyze word frequency?

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I would like a utility that could analyze a document and give me stats like this:

WORD:           FREQUENCY:
a               47,268
the             37,201
gross           215
irregardlessly  1  

Does anyone know if this is available?

BTW, I'd rather not use an online tool. Call me paranoid, but uploading my unpublished novel to the internet, to me, would be akin to walking down main street with nothing but a condom on. :)

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This post was sourced from https://writers.stackexchange.com/q/23952. It is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.

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2 answers

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If you have access to Linux or Cygwin on Windows, you can get it to tell you just about anything you want to know about your text with a few lines of shell code. Here's one approach.

Here's another article which explains the process in more detail.

In this case, you would probably first have to copy your text from its native format and then paste it without formatting into a text file so the internal formatting codes, etc. don't interfere with the logic.

The advantage of an approach like this is that, with a little effort, you can get your tool to report anything you want in exactly the format you want it in.

Microsoft is also talking about adding such shell capabilities into an upcoming release of Windows 10.

If you're on a Mac, you probably already have all of the necessary tools installed.

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This post was sourced from https://writers.stackexchange.com/a/24010. It is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.

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My beloved Scrivener does the job beautifully. Paste your text in and then go under Project —> Text Statistics and it gives you the list you're looking for.

Other people on this board have recommended Word Counter (Mac) and both Primitive Word Counter and yWriter (Windows), but I cannot speak to their utility as I've never used them.

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