Reviewed: Geetesh Bajaj
Date Created: December 14th 2004
Last Updated: February 27th 2009
Many users including translators, authors, writers and transcriptionists need to count the number of words in a document. While Microsoft Office applications like Word, Excel and PowerPoint do offer some features to do the count, the end results are nowhere close to professional.
Word's WordCount toolbar is probably the most advanced word count feature available and even that lacks features that professionals require. PowerPoint and Excel offer no equivalent option.
So, what is the solution? One option is to use Practiline Software's PractiCount Toolbar.
About Practiline and PractiCount
Practiline Software is a Seattle based company that creates the PractiCount range of applications. There are two versions of PractiCount available:
- PractiCount and Invoice is a counting
and invoicing program for language professionals who base their
quotations and invoices on document text count.
- PractiCount Toolbar for Microsoft Office is an add-in for Word, Excel and PowerPoint that provides one-click access to counting options within these programs.
In this review, we will look at the PractiCount Toolbar and its use within PowerPoint. My contact at Practiline Software for this review was Maxim Siefer who coordinated with me and responded to all my questions. Thank you, Maxim.
You can learn more about Practline and their PractiCount products at their site...
Download and Installation
The PractiCount Toolbar comes in two versions: Standard and Professional. You can download a 15 day trial version of either product from the Practiline site.
Installation of the product is simple and adds PractiCount toolbars to your Word, Excel and PowerPoint interfaces. Here's a screenshot of the toolbar inside Microsoft PowerPoint 2003.
Using the PractiCount Toolbar
Using the PractiCount toolbar is very simple - just click the Count Statistics icon and PractiCount presents you with a concise report (see screenshot).
If you need a detailed report, click on the Detailed Statistics icon and PractiCount will provide you with a full detailed report that you can export to a Word or Excel document (see screenshot - click screenshot for full image).
PractiCount's reports are highly customizable - just click the Settings icon to be presented with many options. PractiCount also allows you to look at Word Frequency Statistics in a presentation - just click the relevant icon in the toolbar.
I asked Maxim about how the PractiCount Toolbar for Office evolved - "It did evolve out of our other software - PractiCount and Invoice which is a stand-alone program for counting text in Microsoft Office documents, HTML etc. People were asking us to add such a functionality right to the Microsoft Office interface so that they could count the document they are working with immediately. So we did."
I also asked Maxim about typical situations for the usage of the PractiCount toolbar in PowerPoint:
PractiCount Toolbar is meant, in the first turn, for translators who base their bills on the amount of text they translate. And for all other PowerPoint users who need to know how much text exactly a PowerPoint presentation contains. A typical use for a translator, I guess, is the following: a translator receives a PowerPoint file for translation, counts it with PractiCount Toolbar and gives a quote to the customer based on the text amount (if pricing depends on the source text) or uses the text count to estimate translation time and/or to see how much text the file contains and where. After having translated the text, a translator may use PractiCount Toolbar again to give a customer the final quote (if pricing depends on the target text).
Pricing and Support
The standard version of PractiCount Toolbar costs US$49.95 while the professional version costs US$79.95. You'll find a comparison of both the versions here...
Support is through email and there is also an online FAQ at the site.
PractiCount is a simple, easy-to-use product that does not cost too much. It's a one-trick pony but it does whatever it set out to do exceedingly well. What's more, it works across three most used applications of the Microsoft Office suite with equal dexterity.