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Count words in a post and return the specific count or a range.

PHP November 8, 2018




(Optional) (Array) Individual options for word count
Default: None

Parameter Notes


id (int)
The post ID to count words in.
Defaults to current post

content (string)
Pass actual content to count rather than a post
Default: false

range (boolean)
Return a range instead of specific word count number
Default: false

Request or provide clarification »


Count the words in the current post


Show a range of the word count for a different post

nebula()->word_count(array('id' => 123, 'range' => true));

Count the words in a string from a specific custom field

nebula()->word_count(array('content' => get_field('example')));

Hook custom fields in so they can be counted.

add_filter('nebula_word_count', function($content, $id, 10, 2){
    $content .= ' ' . get_field('example_field', $id); //Append ACF field to content
    return $content;

Additional Notes

This can be useful for use with custom dimensions in Google Analytics on articles.

Be sure to hook in custom fields so they can be included in the word count! It is recommended to add each custom field individually (rather than looping through all fields) to be sure that only contentful output is included.

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    Source File

    Located in /libs/Functions.php on line 901.

    2 Hooks

    Find these filters and actions in the source code below to hook into them. Use do_action() and add_filter() in your functions file or plugin.

    Need a new filter hook? Request one here.

    This function has no action hooks available. Request one?

            public function word_count($options=array()){
                $override = apply_filters('pre_nebula_word_count', null, $options);
                if ( isset($override) ){return $override;}
                $defaults = array(
                    'id' => get_the_id(),
                    'content' => false,
                    'range' => false, //Show a range instead of exact count
                $data = array_merge($defaults, $options);
                $content = ( !empty($data['content']) )? $data['content'] : get_post_field('post_content', $data['id']);
                $content = apply_filters('nebula_word_count', $content, $data['id']); //Allow additional content to be added to the word count (such as ACF fields)
                $word_count = intval(round(str_word_count(strip_tags($content))));
                if ( is_int($word_count) ){
                    if ( !$data['range'] ){
                        return $word_count;
                    $words_label = __('words', 'nebula');
                    if ( $word_count < 10 ){
                        $word_count_range = '<10 ' . $words_label;
                    } elseif ( $word_count < 500 ){
                        $word_count_range = '10 - 499 ' . $words_label;
                    } elseif ( $word_count < 1000 ){
                        $word_count_range = '500 - 999 ' . $words_label;
                    } elseif ( $word_count < 1500 ){
                        $word_count_range = '1,000 - 1,499 ' . $words_label;
                    } elseif ( $word_count < 2000 ){
                        $word_count_range = '1,500 - 1,999 ' . $words_label;
                    } else {
                        $word_count_range = '2,000+ ' . $words_label;
                    return $word_count_range;
                return false;


    To override this PHP function, use this hook in your child theme or plugin ("my_custom" can be changed):

    add_filter('pre_nebula_word_count', 'my_custom_word_count', 10, 2); //The last integer must be 1 more than the actual parameters
    function my_custom_word_count($null, $options){ //$null is required, but can be ignored
        //Write your own code here
        return true; //Return true to prevent the original function from running afterwords

    You can completely disable this PHP function with a single line actions:

     add_filter('pre_nebula_word_count', '__return_false');