Monday, 21 January 2019

Getting a Word count from a pdf 2

Last week I wrote a post about getting free online word count from Adobe Acrobat files.

This week I have tried some software that supposedly adds that functionality to the pdf Reader software.

The first piece of software I tried was a free piece of kit which supposedly added a text counter to Acrobat Reader, called WordCountReader. I found an article on this extension here ( Going to the WordCountReader website from the link in the article, I applied for and got a unique download link from I downloaded the .js file and installed it as per the .txt file instructions. However, this extension did nothing at all, even after a full reboot. I uninstalled the .js file.

The second piece of kit, abracadabraCompteur, was also a .js extension, which I downloaded from here ( This one worked on Acrobat Reader DC, having installed it as per the .pdf file instructions. It did not need a full reboot to work.

Next I went to and downloaded another piece of freeware: CountAnything. This piece of kit was a very simple download from Once installed, was really easy to use. Simply open it, and drop your chosen file into it, and click the count button. It will read pretty much anything, including all Office products, text files, html and some calculation files.

I was going to check AnyCount, but it was only trialware, not freeware, it fell outside the range of this small experiment. It can be downloaded at if you want to try it.

If you recall from part 1, the results of my free online pdf counts were as follows. I have now added the freeware pdf results to that, again, in decreasing order of accuracy on the base of a pdf document of 10,448 words:

  1. 10,684, Online, (+2%)
  2. 10,126, Online, (-3%)
  3. 11,619, Freeware, CountAnything (+11%)
  4. 12,047, Freeware, abracadabraCompteur (+15%)
  5. 2,005, Online, (-81%)
  6. 0, Freeware, WordCountReader (-100%)

Interestingly, the software tools were less reliable than the online tools, and none of them were that accurate. 

Providing you aren't worried about privacy, then the online tool, Doc Word Counter (while factoring in a 2% over-count), is the best option. If documents need to remain private, then CountAnything (while factoring in an over-count of 11%) is the best option.


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