Writing Progress Meters

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Progress meters can be immensely useful motivational tools. You can use them to track and display your word count as you work toward completion of a manuscript, screenplay, dissertation, thesis, or any other lengthy document. These meters are mostly free, easy to set up, update and read. Some display your current and target word counts plus the percentage completed; others show only the percentage; and one displays an actual graph.

This list was created in 2009 with seven meters and has been updated every year. It includes both WordPress plugin progress trackers as well as HTML-based text and graphic meters, plus spreadsheets and other tools you may also find helpful.

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WordPress Plugins

Author WIP (Work in Progress) Progress Bar

Author WIP Writing Progress Meter

My Book Progress

My Book Progress writing meter - style pack

xwolf Progress Bar

xwolf writing progress bar

Pretty Simple Progress Meter

Pretty Simple Progress Meter

Dave’s Whizmatronic Widgulating Calibrational Scribometer

Whizmatronic-Scribometer writing word count progress meter


Progressbar writing progress meter

Progress Fly



Progress Press word count meter


Critique Circle

This handy Bob the Word Meter Builder form will help you to create an attractive progress meter graphic and supply you with the code to drop into your HTML or a WordPress text box.
Critique Circle Word Meter Builder writing progress bar

Svenja Liv

Svenja Liv offers several types of meters as spreadsheets with multiple different formats and designs in Microsoft Excel, a year-round spreadsheet to track annual word count goals and an image-based meter. Below are a few examples. See full list here.

Svenja Word Tracker Spreadsheet
Svenja Annual Word Tracker
Svenja Word Meter writing progress bar

Word Tracker

Simple HTML Progress Meter


Language is a Virus (Nanowrimo) Word meter

Nanowrimo Word Meter

Write or Die

Write or Die 1

Write or Die

Write or Die is no longer free but costs $10-20 depending on which version you choose.

Write or Die 2

Work in Stimulus mode for positive stimulation or Consequence mode and be terrorized when you don’t write.

Word Meter Builder

Simple Progress Bar

Simple Progress Bar




Luminary Writer’s Database Word Count Tracker

Word Count Tracker offers a more detailed graph illustrating your writing habits daily, weekly, monthly and yearly. It also offers graphs showing your output (number of words written) versus length (total length your manuscript grew). A button at the bottom offers you the option to embed your graph in your website. Additionally, you can connect your account to Facebook and share there. Registration is required, but free.


As a bonus, Luminary also offers additional free writers’ tools such as dashboard (for Mac OS X), Google, Netvibes, and Konfabulator (Yahoo) widgets.

Word Count Tools

Word Count Tools is a bit different from the others in that it counts the number of characters, words, sentences, paragraphs and even difficult words. It works with English and non-English text and also offers reports on the readability and keyword density of your text along with extra features that include changing cases and stripping text of HTML tags.

Last updated: 3/5/2017


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