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Barry MacDonnell's
Toolbox for WordPerfect

Macros, tips, and templates for Corel® WordPerfect® for Windows®
© Copyright 1996-2021 by Barry MacDonnell. All Rights Reserved.

Page updated Jun 7, 2015

LineCounter - Count the lines in a document (both text lines and total lines)

Download LINECNTR.ZIP (v1.02; 01/11/08; 9965 bytes)

Compatible with WordPerfect 9 and later versions

WordPerfect 11 users: See important information about using macros in the first release of WP11 ( at the top of this page.

Downloading, Documentation, Modifications, and Support


Here is a WordPerfect 9+ macro that counts all lines in the current document's body text area (including table rows) that have text in them (i.e., alphanumeric characters). Note that it does not count lines that contain only punctuation, space characters, or graphics/text boxes, since these are not normally considered "lines."

You may have noticed that WordPerfect has a couple of built-in line counters, of sorts.

(1) In recent versions, click on File, Properties, Word Count (tab). Note that this counts lines that might only contain space chaacters.

(2) You also can go to the top of a document and -

- click  on Format, Line, Numbering;
- check the box "Turn line numbering on";
- un-check both "Restart numbering on each page" and "Count blank lines."

This gives line numbering in the left margin, with the last numbered line showing what is in effect the total number of lines.

When you no longer need it, delete the [Ln Num] code from the Reveal Codes window.

However, the LineCounter.wcm macro shows a message onscreen that gives -

  • the total line count (see paragraphs below for exclusions);
  • the total number of lines (i.e., some lines may be blank or contain just spaces or punctuation marks);
  • a word count;
  • a line count based on the traditional 65 characters (including spaces) per line.

There is no menu. Just play the macro in your document and it will count the lines in it.

Be sure to play the macro again if you edit or reformat the document, or if you select or use a different printer. These may cause the number of lines to change. With respect to printers, WordPerfect makes heavy use of Windows printer drivers to format text, which in turn can cause slight differences in document formatting if the document is automatically or manually reformatted for a different printer.


WordPerfect's Format, Line, Numbering line count will include a count of any text box/graphic image on a line, as well as lines with nothing by space characters or punctuation marks in them. This macro does not count these items as 'text' lines unless they include alphanumeric characters on the same line. (However, the "traditional" 65 characters-per-line method mentioned above does include spaces.)

  Some thoughts about line count accuracy

Line counting in the old "typewriter days" was easier than it is today. You could depend on material in the lines not moving, since what you typed was immediately set firmly on paper. With computers, you have a choice between using typewriter-like monospaced fonts and typeset-like proportional fonts. The latter can produce problems when you try to count lines to get an accurate total.

Using a proportional font means that if you select a different printer (File, Print, <printer name>) or load the document on a different system with a different printer attached, the new Windows printer driver can (and most likely will) change the number of lines slightly due to inter-letter and inter-word spacing adjustments.

Furthermore, in WordPerfect there is a setting in Tools, Settings, Environment that forces WordPerfect to reformat documents (when opening them) to the current default printer's specifications. This will surely make minor changes to the line count on larger documents. Hence, WordPerfect will adjust lines to fit the new printer driver specifications. [This frequently happens with documents faxed from inside WordPerfect. The Windows (or fax software) fax driver -- much like a printer driver -- wraps words to suit its format requirements. As a result, a 'one-page fax' created in WordPerfect can run over onto the next page when faxed. This is a good reason to preview faxes before sending them!]

All of this is accomplished automatically in WordPerfect using printer metrics (i.e., measurements). According to the WordPerfect Help file (which section does not apply to WordPerfect 8 and earlier versions):

". . . By default, WordPerfect determines line endings through printer metrics. If you will be moving a document between different printers often, you may wish to prevent the document from reformatting every time you change printers. You can do this by disabling printer metrics. When you disable printer metrics, WordPerfect determines line endings by display metrics.

To disable printer metrics (in WP9 and later versions):
1. Click Tools, Settings.
2. Click Convert.
3. Click the Compatibility tab.
4. In the Options section, enable the "Don't use printer metrics to format document" (or in WP10+, "Do not format document using printer metrics") check box.

Note:  If you disable printer metrics, printer fonts will not be visible in your list of fonts."

This setting uses a 1200 dpi (dots per inch) 'virtual printer,' and then sends the document to the physical printer formatted to match the screen display pagination. This process effectively removes reformatting / repagination problems.

So line count 'accuracy' is relative, depending on several factors and system settings. If the line count is made on the same system and the same printer where the document was physically printed, there should be no problem or discrepancy. However, it the line count is done first (for invoicing a client, as a transcriptionist might do), and the .WPD file is then sent to a client who prints it on their own system, the client might find that the line count is off a bit.

I can't see any way around that, other than to send a hard copy with the built-in line count feature turned on, showing line numbers in the left margin. (To use this feature, go to the top of a document and use Format, Line, Numbering, then check "Turn line numbering on," and un-check both "Restart numbering on each page" and "Count blank lines." This gives line numbering in the left margin, with the last numbered line showing what is in effect the total number of lines. When you no longer need it, delete the [Ln Num] code from the Reveal Codes window.)

I think a word count is a more accurate means of measuring production. But I see lots of people on the Corel newsgroups and elsewhere trying to find ways to quickly and accurately count lines in a document, so there must be a need for this. Hence, the reason I wrote the LINECNTR macro.

See this site's Disclaimer, which is particularly applicable if you depend on absolute accuracy in line counts.

Programming notes

  • You could use SelectLineEnd in place of the first two commands (SelectMode(On!) And PosLineEnd) in the macro's main Repeat loop. However, in WP10 and later, a new checkbox exists in Tools, Settings, Environment: "Use WP9 text selection." If this is left un-checked (the shipping default), it will change the way SelectLineEnd (and several other selection and cursor movement commands) works compared to WP9 and earlier versions. The method used in this macro circumvents this potential problem.
  • You can use the values stored in vCount, vTotCount, and vWordCount to print a report.
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