Automatically Identifying Repeated Words

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated September 7, 2013)

4

As a teacher, Wendy critiques her students on how often they repeat words in their writing. When she opens a document from her students, she wonders if Word can tell her the words they have repeated. She understands that she can use Find and Replace if she knows the word she is looking for; however, this means that she would have to identify a repeated word. She is looking for Word to do the work for her. Naturally, Wendy wouldn't want Word to let her know that the student has used common words like A, AN, THE, AND, etc.

When you want a count of the number of times each word in a document is used, what you are looking for is typically referred to (in Word circles) as a "word frequency count" or a "concordance with counts." Searching on the web for these terms can uncover a wide variety of tools you could use for this purpose.

Some WordTips subscribers made suggestions of tools that work well for them. One such tool is WordCounter, from our friends over at the Editorium (www.editorium.com). This Word add-in can be used free for 45 days. After that, you can register it for only $19.95.

A standalone program—one not run as a Word add-in—is TextSTAT. It can read several types of files, including Word documents. It produces a detailed listing wth all sorts of statistical summaries. Best of all, TextSTAT is free at http://neon.niederlandistik.fu-berlin.de/en/textstat/

If you'd like to "jump under the hood" and create your own macro to get the desired results, consider the discussion at a previous WordTip, located here:

http://wordribbon.tips.net/T010761_Generating_a_Count_of_Word_Occurrences.html

You could also benefit by examining how MVP Greg Maxey tackles the issue:

http://gregmaxey.mvps.org/word_tip_pages/word_usage_and_frequency_report.html

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (11362) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, and 2013.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He  is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

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What is eight minus 3?

2013-10-23 08:45:50

Glenn Case

K:

While Find/Replace works fine for one word, it would be very cumbersome for all words in the document. Hence the macro solution.


2013-10-23 01:28:35

K.Vee.Shanker.

One easier way would be using 'Find & Replace'. One can copy the word and then click Contl+H. Paste the word to both find and replace fields, and then click 'Replace all'. Word will display a message on how many words have been replaced!


2013-09-09 09:04:35

Glenn Case

Kim:

The link in the section about "jumping under the hood" provides a macro which will do this, and it's free of charge. You don't have to download anything, just cut and paste the macro text into a Module using the VBA editor. If you are new to macros, then there are some good tutorials out there; there's a brief discussion on getting started at

http://www.excelforum.com/excel-formulas-and-functions/942183-how-to-extend-sequential-id-pattern.html?p=3352809

While it's aimed at Excel, the process is the same for Word. I urge you to take the plunge and learn a bit about this, as it will greatly enhance your capabilities...good luck!


2013-09-09 08:18:29

Kim Braswell

I work for the military; therefor, I'm not able to download add-ons, etc. I'm looking for tips to enhance my use of Word, not something outside of Word to use that costs.


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