Earlier on in July we have been ‘blessed’ with the ability to translate MS Word documents with track changes in Studio 2011. It seems, however, that an important little detail is missing to make this process more transparent when it comes to invoicing clients. How do you count track changes?
One option would be to painstakingly count the amount of insertions and deletions in the source document, but that would be just as daft as trying to leverage 100% matches on a typewriter.
There’s a little, elegant and relatively inexpensive tool (free to try) which, among other things, allows you to get precise counts of insertions and deletions in tracked Word documents. Enter PractiCount and Invoice.
After installing the program, you go to the Settings tab and then Applications. In the MS Word Section you would tick the “Revisions” box and then select one the 3 available options (I’d normally run two separate counts, one for insertions only and another for deletions only, to get a better perspective of the amount of work that might be involved).
You would then go back to the File Selection tab and drag your Word file with track changes to the “File Name” box and ht “Count Statistics”. Bear in mind that, in this case, the tool will only count the amount of revisions (insertions, deletions or both, according to the option you chose earlier). If you want to get a wordcount for the entire document, go back to Settings>Applications>MS Word and uncheck the “Revisions” box.
However, since we wouldn’t translate on a word-by-word basis, it may not be that wise to charge your clients purely on the basis of insertions. For smaller assignments, a minimum editing fee is not a bad idea, whereas for large contracts, for example, it could be wise to add a certain (fixed) percentage on top of the inserted text. PractiCount allows you to do this in a totally transparent way to the client, which is certainly most important.