I am designing a poster in Adobe Illustrator (ver. 2019), and one of the suggestions I am following is keeping the total number of words around 150.

Is there a way to count all words (inside text boxes) in Illustrator?

  • Hi Guiherme, Welcome to Graphic Design. I'm intrigued by this suggestion from a behavioural POV. Can you please point me toward the source of this suggestion? Normally, my clients supply the wording for a poster. Normally, my clients don't appreciate being succinct. This research will help my editing efforts. You could edit the link into your question at the end. – Stan Sep 23 '19 at 18:16
  • @Stan The suggestion comes from this link: animateyour.science/post/… The idea of a poster is to be a visual representation of the abstract, so few words should be used. But again, this is a suggestion, it may or may not make sense in different contexts. – Guilherme Salomé Sep 23 '19 at 18:48

You can copy that text content and paste it into MS Word, or Notepad++ or a blank Google Drive document. All of these tools have a built-in word count tool.

Kind of a work around if you don't want to leave Illustrator:

  • Do a Find/Replace and replace every space with a $ sign or some character you don't already have in your document.
  • Hit Replace All and then the Find/Replace will tell you how many spaces were replaced. Assuming regular flowing text, your word count will be more or less equal to this number of spaces.
  • Finally, don't forget to Undo! :)
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    I do not want to have to copy and paste everything outside Illustrator, so your suggestion is a good approach! Thanks for sharing. – Guilherme Salomé Sep 23 '19 at 18:50
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    It works. Here's the step by step: unlock all layers, click on menu Edit > Find and Replace ..., on Find insert a whitespace and on Edit insert $, click on Find, then click on Replace All. A window will pop up saying how many words were replaced. Click Ok, then undo changes. – Guilherme Salomé Sep 23 '19 at 18:55

If you have the text available in InDesign, you can simply highlight the text with the Info window (Window > Info) open and it'll tell you characters, words, lines and paragraphs.

I agree that there should be a way to have a word count in illustrator - but perhaps that's because if you have 150 words on a document, InDesign is a better option for layout and workflow?

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  • I am not familiar with InDesign. But it seems like it isn't something too difficult to code. One just needs to "select" all text boxes, and count how the words. – Guilherme Salomé Sep 23 '19 at 18:49

I had the same problem of not being able to paste text from illustrator. I discovered that it works when using an online wordcounter. (for instance wordcounter.net).

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