Tutorials

Text Statistics

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If you've ever written a lengthy text, you’ve certainly wanted to know how much you'd actually written so far. This is where statistics come in pretty handy. In Ulysses, access to word count or the number of pages is very easy.

On Mac

If you're working with Ulysses for Mac, simply click the gauge icon on the top right or hit ⌘7 (command-7) to open the Statistics popover. It's filled with all sorts of useful information about the current sheet:

Screenshot of the statistics popover in Ulysses for Mac. The displayed metrics are “Characters”, “Without Spaces”, “Words”, “Sentences”, “Paragraphs”, “Pages”, “Slow”, “Average”, “Fast” and “Aloud”. The last four metrics represent the reading time.

However, what if you want to know the average number of words per sentence? How is the number of pages actually calculated? For this, you need to switch to the settings view of the Statistics popover. Simply drag it at its edges to detach it from the main window. Then, click the small gear button at the top right to reveal the settings view:

Screenshot of the detached statistics popover in Ulysses for Mac. Previously hidden metrics are “Words/Sentence” and “Lines”.

Here, you can enable (or disable) any metric you want. Don't want to see a sentence count? Simply untick the corresponding checkmark. You can also adjust how many characters fit into one line (or how many lines fit into one page). Just click the corresponding numbers at the bottom to change these settings. Click the gear button again to save your settings - and you're done! If you want, you can leave the statistics popover open for live update while you're writing.

On iOS

On iPad or iPhone, you can access your text statistics at the bottom of the editor. Per default, the number of words of your current sheet is displayed here.

Screenshot of Ulysses’ editor on iOS. In the bottom right there is a faded “237 Words” visible.

Tap this number to get an overview over all of the sheet’s statistics. To change the metric displayed in the floating counter, tap on a different statistic.

Screenshot of the Statistics window in Ulysses on iOS. The shown statistics range from characters over words per sentence to fast reading time. Selected is the “Words” counter.

How Long Is My Selected Text?

Ulysses can also tell you the length of only a part of your text. On Mac, select the text in question and click the statistics button in the toolbar.

On iOS, select the text and choose "Statistics..." from the action panel.

The first, colored values apply to your text selection.

Group Statistics

There are also group statistics available.

On Mac, just right-click a group and choose “Statistics…” from the context menu. You can even select several groups or sheets at a time and do the same, letting Ulysses display their combined statistics.

On iOS, swipe right on a group, tap “Detail”, and check its statistics in the progress section. For displaying the combined statistics of various sheets, tap “Select” in the sheet list, and mark the sheets in question. The statistics counter will appear at the top of the sheet list.

Material Sheets and Statistics

Material sheets are for supporting “material” that is not meant to become part of your final text, such as research notes, or character bios for novels. They will automatically be excluded from statistics and export and are easy to recognize thanks to a visual marker in the sheet list.

Here is how to mark a sheet as material:

  • On Mac, select the sheet in the sheet list, right-click it, and choose “Use as Material Sheet”. 
  • On iPhone or iPad, swipe left on a sheet in the sheet list, tap and select this option from the list of available actions.

This article was last updated April 28, 2020.

Text Statistics

Check out Ulysses’ comprehensive statistics, and customize them to your needs