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What is a standard page?

Michal Kmeť Ciferník09.10.2020 For Customers Reading time: 5 min.
What is a standard page

A standard page (SP) is a strictly defined length of text. One standard page is comprised of 1,800 characters with spaces.

Is it an A4 page?

The standard page represents the number of characters, not the number of physical pages. The A4 page may consist of a text of any length, depending on the font size and type, line spacing and other formatting. Therefore, counting document length in standard pages is much more precise than counting the physical pages.

Furthermore, measuring the length of a text in standard pages is used for translations, translation revisions, proofreading or copywriting.

Why are spaces included in the character count?

Thespacesarealsocountedbecausewithoutthemnoonecouldreadthetext, or rather: The spaces are also counted because without them no one could read the text.

Why do we use the 1,800 character constant?

This standard page count constant (1,800 characters including spaces) dates back to when typewriters were used. All of the letters had the same width, which is called the monospace.

One line consisted of 60 characters—letters, punctuation marks and spaces between words. Thirty lines were used on the A4 page so that the text could be easily readable.

60 characters per line x 30 lines per page = 1,800 characters including spaces.

Determining the standard page count

The text length in an editable electronic form can be easily calculated using most computer programmes or our online counter.

Counting the number of characters and standard pages in Microsoft Word

1. Open the text document.
2. Click on the Words icon in the status tab at the bottom left of the screen.
3. A statistics window opens showing the number of words and of characters including spaces.
4. To calculate the number of standard pages, divide the number of "Characters (including spaces)" by 1,800.

MS word umber of words

MS Word wordcount statistics

1. Open the text document.
2. Display the Review tab.
3. Click on the Word Count icon.
4. A statistics window opens showing the number of words and of characters including spaces.
5. To calculate the number of standard pages, divide the number of "Characters (including spaces)" by 1,800.

MS Word wordcount

This article is comprised of 3.5 standard pages, or 6,219 characters with spaces.

LEXIKA_X_RGB_trans_mini Hint: Within one Microsoft Word document, you can count not only the length of the entire text, but also the length of a specific part of the text. To do so, select the required text section(s) and follow the instructions above.

Counting the number of characters in Google Docs

If you use the Google Docs service, then the word count statistics is displayed as follows: in Main menu, select Tools > Word Count.

To calculate the number of standard pages in Google Docs, simply divide the value in the Characters line by 1,800.

LEXIKA_X_RGB_trans_mini Attention: Don’t be confused by the first line of the statistics, "Pages". This line shows the number of physical pages in the document, not the number of standard pages.

Google docs wordcount

Google docs character count

To display the statistics, you can also use the keyboard shortcut, Ctrl+Shift+C. The statistics window may be kept minimised in the bottom left corner during your work process.

Google docs number of words

Google docs number of words statistics

Determining the number of words and standard pages in other formats

If you can copy and paste a text in any format into the Microsoft Word or Google Docs text editor, then you can calculate its length that way.

However, it can be quicker and more effective to count texts in their original formats, especially when copying a text requires more steps or too much time.

Counting the number of characters in PDF format

PDF files with copyable text that’s not very long or complicated can be copied and counted in a text editor. If you have a PDF file with more extensive formatting or structure, it’s much quicker to convert it into DOCX using OCR tools and then count it in the text editor.

The same instructions can be followed for PDF files that contain text formatted as images.

If the PDF file is protected against copying or other manipulation, then the only way to count the number of characters is to print the texts, scan them and convert the files into an editable form, as mentioned above.

Counting the number of characters in Microsoft Excel

The number of characters in one or more cells in Microsoft Excel may be counted by using the LEN function and following these detailed instructions.

MS Excel character count function

Tables with simple structures can be saved in the TXT format and counted in Microsoft Word.

Counting the number of characters in Microsoft PowerPoint

Open the presentation. In the Main menu, find the statistics by clicking the Information icon in the File bar. Next, confirm the Show all properties option in the bottom right.

The PowerPoint statistics only show the number of words. However, it also includes the number of words in a particular slide and in the notes. In English, one standard page represents approximately 300 words. Therefore, the total number of words is divided by 300. This calculation method is not 100% accurate, but it still offers a rough estimate of the text length.

MS PowerPoint number of words

LEXIKA_X_RGB_trans_mini Hint: Count the number of characters more accurately in a Microsoft PowerPoint presentation by saving it as a PDF. All slides and corresponding notes should be displayed. Then, copy the texts from this PDF file into Microsoft Word to easily count the accurate number of characters or standard pages.

Utilize specialised programmes

Some specialised programmes can also reliably calculate text lengths in various DTP programmes, such as Adobe InDesign, PageMaker, FrameMaker, as well as computer programme texts and those intended for webpages (html, php, or xml).

Printed text lengths

If your texts are hard copies, then you can scan and convert them to a file format wherein length is easily established (e.g. Microsoft Word).

What does a standard page have to do with translation?

As a unit of measurement, a standard page can determine the text length in translations, as well as in lyrical works, student dissertations or creative writing.

The translation price depends on the text length, language combination, delivery date, additional complementary services or specific client requirements.

Want to know your text length and translation price? Leave the counting to us! You can get a free, no-obligation price calculation in just 30 minutes.

Michal Kmet
Michal Kmeť
Managing director

My first contact with the translation industry dates back to 1993 when my father founded LEXIKA and I was delivering documents to our translators on a bike. Over time, I worked at almost every position within the company. I was the president of the Association of Translation Companies of Slovakia for four years and I am currently a board member of the European Union of Associations of Translation Companies – EUATC. I never miss a chance to attend professional events in the translation and localisation industry. Together with my colleagues from the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Austria I cofounded and organize Meet Central Europe.

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