Countable is a JavaScript function to add live paragraph-, word- and character-counting to an HTML element.



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Countable is a JavaScript function to add live paragraph-, word- and character-counting to an HTML element. Countable is a zero-dependency library and comes in at 1KB when minified and gzipped.

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The preferred method of installation is bower.

yarn install Countable

Alternatively, you can download the latest zipball or copy the script directly.


Countable is available as a Node / CommonJS module, an AMD module and as a global. All methods are accessed on the Countable object directly.


The on and count methods both accept a callback. The given callback is then called whenever needed with a single parameter that carries all the relevant data. this is bound to the current element. Take the following code for an example.

Countable.count(document.getElementById('text'), counter => console.log(this, counter))
=> <textarea id="text"></textarea>, { all: 0, characters: 0, paragraphs: 0, words: 0 }
Property Meaning
paragraphs The number of paragraphs. Paragraphs can be separated by either a soft or a hard (two line breaks) return. To use hard returns, set the corresponding option (hardReturns).
sentences The number of sentences. Sentences are separated by a sentence-terminating character.
words The number of words. Words are split using spaces.
characters The number of characters (without spaces). This contains all non-whitespace characters.
all The number of characters including whitespace. This is the total number of all characters in the element.

Countable.on(elements, callback, options)

Bind the callback to all given elements. The callback gets called every time the element's value or text is changed.

Countable.on(area, counter => console.log(counter))


Remove the bound callback from all given elements.

Countable.count(elements, callback, options)

Similar to Countable.on(), but the callback is only executed once, there are no events bound.

Countable.once(area, counter => console.log(counter))


Checks the live-counting functionality is bound to the given.



Countable.on() and Countable.count() both accept a third argument, an options object that allows you to change how Countable treats certain aspects of your element's text.

  hardReturns: false,
  stripTags: false,
  ignore: []

By default, paragraphs are split by a single return (a soft return). By setting hardReturns to true, Countable splits paragraphs after two returns.

Depending on your application and audience, you might need to strip HTML tags from the text before counting it. You can do this by setting stripTags to true.

Sometimes it is desirable to ignore certain characters. These can be included in an array and passed using the ignore option.

Browser Support

Countable supports all modern browsers. Full ES5 support is expected, as are some ES6 features, namely let and const.