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This is the wiki for the Live Word Count macro for LibreOffice / See Get below to start using it immediately.

What It Does

The macro, when run, displays a little floating window on top of your Writer document with a continuously-updating word count. Instants after you type something, you see an updated count. Also, you can actually type in a goal number of words that you want to write, and the macro will also graphically display your progress towards this goal. I found this incredibly useful when I was writing papers in school, so I hope you do too no matter what you're writing.

Remember Your Goals

A hidden but very cool feature: when you change the goal word count, the macro will save the goal in a hidden field inside the document. Then when you open the document for editing again, and open the word count window, it will automatically re-establish the goal. So you don't have to keep typing it every time you open the file.


It's easy to download the macro. It's just one small file:


If you are an OpenPGP user, you can verify (to a certain extent) that the file has not been tampered with. The file signature is at My OpenPGP key fingerprint is:

1EF3 2289 1D6A 541C 27D7 F52C 8AD5 A0A9 12C8 6554

Contact me if you want to set up a more secure verification.



To install the macro, simply double-click the wordcount.oxt file. This will start LibreOffice (or bring it to the front of the screen) and install the macro as an add-on (aka extension).

See Manual Install.


After installing the macro, restart Writer. Then click Tools > Instant Count (shortcut: Alt+T, I).


See Configuration for advanced configuration tips and tricks.


Let me know if you need any help--use BitBucket's issue tracking feature to open up and comment on issues, describing the problems you're facing. I'll try to help as much as I can.


For hackers/coders/programmers: this macro is licensed under the MIT license, as you'll see in the file. Please feel free to clone this BitBucket-hosted repo and send me pull requests!

How do you edit the file within its repository directory and test it in the OO/LibO scripts directory at the same time? I do it using a hard link. On Linux and Mac OS X, you can make a hard link with the ln command. On Windows Vista onwards, you can use the mklink command to do the same. Look up the commands:

  • Unix: man ln
  • Windows: mklink /?


OK, so this one is more a hope rather than something compulsory :-)


Exactly when I created Live Word Count is lost in the mists of time, but it was probably around 2004--5. It started its online life as a blog post and a download link in a file sharing service. By 2010 I knew that a lot of people were using it, so I decided to formalise things a bit and put it up as a project on BitBucket. The repository hosting and wiki features here definitely made it a lot easier to point people to the macro and tell them how to use it at the same time.

In 2012 (I think) LibreOffice gained its own extensions (addons) website, and I recently found the macro packaged up there as a nice little extension (thanks to @lodahl!). Since then I've been trying to update the macro a bit and maintain it a little better than I have been for the past several years. Let's see where this goes....