After enduring the compressed font and margin-shrinking tricks that lawyers have used to squeeze in as many words as possible within page limit restrictions, the Texas Supreme Court came up with what it must have thought was a clever way to ensure consistency -- a word limit! But a post on the Supreme Court of Texas Blog says that consistency is not so simple. It turns out that different word processing programs count the number of words differently, with a surprisingly wide range of results. The Supreme Court of Texas Blog folks ran the same sample text from a recent appellate brief through four word processing programs and got these counts:
- Microsoft Word: 363 words
- LibreOffice: 364 words
- Wordperfect: 380 words
- Pages: 405 words
In addition to switching to Microsoft Word, the as-many-words-as-possible Texas brief-writers will need to work on their hyphenating skills.