Monday, 28 May 2018

Word, Character Counter, and You

Recently I tried four different word counters available online for free and the 'Word Count' browser extension on Google Chrome, to count word and characters of the same content across all different of them. 

The algorithm used and the accuracy of the word and character counters apparently resulted in a different count of which 3 out of the 4 yielded 3 different results for word count and all 4 of them yielded 3 different character count with and without white spaces. Also, tried Word Count Google Chrome extension which yielded the same result when used on top of all 4 tools.

Tools that I tried out and the results are as below: 
[Word count] / [Character count with spaces] / [Character count without spaces] - 448 / 2664 / 2202 - 451 / 2630 / -
Interestingly I tried Grammarly app (for the first time) on top of this tool and it yielded - 453 WC. - 453 / 2663 / 2202 - 448 / 2663 / 2202

Word Count - Chrome extension yielded this same result on all 4 pages - 446

One or all of the tools above could be accurate based on the rules used to calculate. And one of them did come with this disclaimer: We strive to make our tools as accurate as possible but we cannot guarantee it will always be so.

Lessons from this exercise:
  • Provide proper spacing.
  • Use appropriate words only as opposed to numerical/short forms wherever required. Eg: A/B, A-B, A and B, A or B, A to B, can be expanded.
  • Beware of auto-correct and basing a/any report on unreliable sources.
  • Follow language specific guidelines that can ease interaction with the tool.
  • Despite these corrections, there will be no guarantee of the accuracy.
  • Use reliable apps.
  • Read the disclaimer.
  • To the tool owner: Carry out accuracy, reliability testing and provide options for the user to reach out in case of any discrepancy. Provide a disclaimer, help, manual ~ about the product, which the reader can read to understand the product better.
Reach out to the tool provider if there is a scope to learn more about the implementation - Help them, help you.

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