readability statistics according Flesch-Kincaid

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readability statistics according Flesch-Kincaid

Unread postby VincentBevort » Thu Sep 13, 2018 8:05 am


I have been working to get my manuals up to a better readability level. It was very written on a very academic level. a Readability around 30 according Flesch-Kincaid.

To get readability statsitics I had to generate a Word file and request the statistics there.
Word 365 is in this area failing badly. the old scripts from Word 2016 work only partly.
I added a script that displayed this information usinf VBA. alos this one word partly in Word 365.

Than I had to try to trace e.g. long sentences (used a macro to visualise them) and re-read the topics to shorten the sencences. The same for passive voice. The old technical writer used a lot passive voice.

To get a view on the words used and how many time they are used I have to use LibreOffice Writer with the Linguist addin.
This give me a list of all words with the number of times they are used in the document.
This gives me also a view on long words that may need a synonym.

Ordering this list in Excel allows me to find the length of each word and sort on it. This gives me an impression if I have to change these words to improve readability. If a word is long but occurs only ones, I don't care. This IS a technical Manual I am writing.

With all this work I got my manual to a readability level of 60 according Flesch-Kincaid. I.e. Plain English.

Do you have any plans to implement this or parts of this in H&M? Like generating the Info Word 2016 can give us or the word count list from LibreOffice.
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Re: readability statistics according Flesch-Kincaid

Unread postby Alexander Halser » Thu Sep 13, 2018 3:29 pm

That's an interesting idea, thank you for the information!

As far as I understand, the formula counts syllables. I wonder how Help+Manual could find out how many syllables a word has. In English, German, French, Italian, Russian, you name it. Do you know if syllables also define the possible breakpoints for hyphenation? If yes, we could use the hyphenation dictionaries that are available for many languages.
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Re: readability statistics according Flesch-Kincaid

Unread postby VincentBevort » Fri Sep 14, 2018 1:58 pm


An alternative is LIX (

It counts the number of words, the number of fullstops (or periods) and the number of long words (longer than 6 characters)

LIX = A/B + (C x 100)/A, where

A = Number of words
B = Number of periods (defined by period, colon or capital first letter)
C = Number of long words (More than 6 letters)

Lix in LibreOffice (linquist) gives for the folloing sentence
To make a lix calculation there should beat least one word that is followed by a full stop.

Number of words: 18
Number of full stops: 1
Number of long words (7 or more characters): 2
Number of words per full stop: 18.0
Percentage long words: 11.11111111111111
Lix (readability): 29.11111111111111
Number of different words: 16.0
Lexical variety: 0.889

Looking att your reports, I see in the full report you already have the words, sentences, and characters. It does not take long to geneare that. So I assume you have saved this somewhere already or you have a very fast algoritm :!: .
For LIX you have A=words, B=sentences. Add calculation of the long words.
When finding the long words you also can create a list off all words and their count.

I know it sounds easy but i may take quite a long time to program.
This kind of calculations tend to take quite some time even on modern computers. I have a document where it may take up to 10 minutes to calculate it all.

I am not sure for other languages but the Ducht, Swedish, and English language tend to break words for hyphenation inbetween syllables.
Breaking on other places is seen as bad writing. may give some guidens here.
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