How to Quickly Count Words in Vellum for Mac

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However you use it, it is important to be able to count words in Vellum. You’ll find that it’s easy to do by the entire book or by chapters.

Vellum for Mac is an incredibly handy app for indie authors who need to format their book manuscripts into great looking print books or eBooks. If you’ve heard of Vellum, but you’re not sure what it is or what it does, you’ll find more information here.

I’ve heard of people writing their entire book in Vellum even though it is not really designed for that. Because it was not created with as many word processing capabilities as Microsoft Word or Scrivener, I wouldn’t try to write a book entirely in Vellum. But you can edit in Vellum quite easily.

How to count words in Vellum

In Vellum (available for Mac only), open your book file. To see the word count in your work space, you must first turn it on. Be sure you have a chapter selected in the left side navigation panel. You cannot turn Word Count on or off if you just select a front matter page. You’ll have to select a chapter or section from the main book body.

With a chapter selected in the left side navigation panel:

  1. Go to the View menu at the top.
  2. Select Word Count.

What to do if Word Count is greyed out in Vellum

If Word Count is greyed out and can’t be selected, it is probably because you have a front matter page selected in the navigation panel.

Once you have turned Word Count on in the View menu, you should see word count in the bar at the top of the edit window—the center part of the Vellum work space. Looking at the bar at the top edit window, you’ll see word count on the right end of the bar. The number that is displayed by default is the total number of words in the book.

How to change the word count type that Vellum displays

You can select other word count options to be displayed by clicking on the word count that is displayed in the edit window top bar. You have these options to display:

  • Words in the current chapter.
  • Words in bodymatter.
  • Words in the entire book.
  • Words in chapter/words in book.
count words in Vellum for Mac

NOTE: As stated earlier, when you count words in Vellum it defaults to displaying the total number of words in the book. If you wish to display one the other options, you’ll have to set it in each book project. Whatever you set it on in a given book will be retained until you change it. But if you open a different existing book file or start a new one, you’ll have to set the word count how you’d like it for that particular project. Whichever setting you choose will be retained when you save that file.

Can Vellum be used on a Windows PC?

My understanding is that the creators of Vellum have no plans to make the app available for Windows computers. If you do not own a Mac computer but still want to use Vellum, I would suggest that you consider subscribing to a “virtual Mac.” A virtual Mac is a Mac that is cloud-based and runs over the Internet. It is not installed on your computer. Instead, you connect to it via the cloud, then install Vellum on it. is one such service.

About the author:

Tom Buford

About the author:

Tom Buford

Tom Buford - writer at
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