How to Count Words in a PDF File

PDFs or Portable Document Files are very useful for most people nowadays as they can be managed easily and are compact. You can read it anytime or anywhere you want on your PDF enabled device. Sometimes it may be necessary to count the PDF words.

If your file is extremely short and you have the patience you can always count the words manually. However, in most cases there is no point to do it yourself. Since PDF readers do not read a document in the same way that a word processor does, it cannot do a word count. But there are some ways you bypass this dilemma.

The first method to count words in a PDF file would be to use a word processor that has word count functionality. Basically, you just need to open both the PDF document and a new document as well in the word processor. When the empty document is ready, copy and paste the text from the PDF into the word processor. Then use the option for word count to see how many words there are in your PDF.

The second option is to save the PDF as text document. This can be done quite simply by opening the PDF and then selecting “Save as” and “text”. This way you will get a new file in .txt format which can be opened with a word processor. Although this is an easy method, you should always check that the text document has been created correctly. If there are text inside images and other visual elements, they may not be included in the text format.

The next method would be to use an online word count tool designed to count PDF words. You will have to upload the document in the online tool. Then the tool reads and counts the total number of words for you. This kinds of tools are quite useful because you can get the results in just few seconds, depending on your file size and the speed of your Internet connection. But you should be wary in the trust and security issues since you are going to upload your own document into the website. It is important to make sure the website is trustworthy and that they ensure you your files are protected from malicious users.

The final technique would be to install a word counter in your computer. This is very similar to a PDF converter that you can download online for free. Separate word counters are very small software pieces that can give you everything you need to know about the overall number of words in your PDF file.

If you want to know the number of words on your file, you can choose from any of these methods. It is good to keep in mind that most word counters cannot read those PDF documents which are scanned from a hard copy or protected by a password. With scanned PDF documents, some OCR (Optical Character Recognition) software may help.

Do you know other ways to count words in a PDF?

 

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2 thoughts on “How to Count Words in a PDF File”

  1. Good question. Images are always tricky when they have text embedded. Scanned documents for example are causing troubles all the time. OCR (Optical character recognition) is definitely needed but even they aren’t always able to read images.

    I have to say that I don’t know any bullet proof method to count words automatically from an image. That’s why I’m asking help from our dear readers: Do you know how to do it?

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