Word count latex/overleaf

Hi NIMErs who love latex!

how do you count words in Overleaf? Is the word count engine embedded in overleaf reliable (it seems quite random to me)? How do you exclude abstract, acknowledgement, ethical statements etc?


Got this reply by Miguel via email:

"I wouldn’t say official but I just did a test by using Overleaf’s built in word count and manually stripping all Latex commands in a word document.

This online service seems to do a great job TeXcount web service (version"

I feel the same about the overleaf word count: it looks unreliable. Also, the count should exclude abstract, acknowledgement, ethics statement, references, tables, and appendices. I think Overleaf’s tool counts those too.

I usually go for my editing tool (VSC) for that, and there are some extensions to count markdown. My workshop is a bit cumbersome, though: I copy the content into a new file and set it as a markdown in VSC. Then I can get the word count using the Selection Word Count extension.

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Another extension tool for .tex file word counting in VSC (I’m also using) is this. It is quite helpful - you can even get word count of a specific section or some paragraphs.


Thanks @yichenwang ! I didn’t know about this extension.

One thing I’m not sure about is if footnotes or figure legends count in the overall amount.