There are different opinions on how to determine a work's word count, with some writers relying on word processors to produce a word count automatically and others believing a word count must take into consideration printing space, according to WritersType.com. Some writers use a mathematical formula to determine word count.
In the publishing world, the definition of a word is any six characters including spaces. For this reason, some writers use a word count formula that begins with calculating how many characters there are in a completely filled line in the manuscript. They divide this number by six to calculate how many words there are per line and then multiply that number by the number of lines there are in a full page. Multiplying this number by the number of pages produces the document's word count by publishing standards.