MS Word: readability statistics

Microsoft Word provides you with readability statistics that give you a rough impression on how easily readable your story is. Here’s how you activate it:

In MS Word 2003:

  • click “tools”
  • click “options”
  • choose the “spelling and grammar” tab
  • select “check grammar with spelling”
  • check “show readability statistics”

In MS Word 2007:

  • Click on the Windows button (top left corner)
  • click “word options”
  • click “proofing”
  • select “check grammar with spelling”
  • check “show readability statistics”

In MS Word 2010:

  • click “file”
  • click “options”
  • click “proofing”
  • select “check grammar with spelling”
  • check “show readability statistics”

After you run a spell/grammar check, readability statistics will be displayed.

statistics

The statistics will let you know your average number of sentences per paragraph, words per sentence, and characters per word. It also gives you the percentage of passive sentences, the Flesch Reading Ease, and the Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level.

The Flesch Reading Ease score measures how easy or difficult your text is to understand. 90-100 would mean that an 11-year-old kid could easily understand your text. 60-70 means a 13-15-year-old can understand the text, and 0-30 is best understood by university graduates.

The Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level test lets you know the US school grade level readers need to understand your text. A score of 7 means a seventh grader should be able to understand it.

For example, this blog post has 20% passive sentences (“statistics will be displayed”), a Flesch Reading Ease score of 50.8, and a Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level of 10.8. The first draft of Hidden Truths has 1% passive sentences, a Flesch Reading Ease score of 87.7, and a Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level of 3.9, which means even a child could read it.

Well, except for the more explicit scenes, of course :-)




Created by Krystel Contreras & Jorge Courbis