I need a way to find the word count of submitted and edited bios. They are stored in a Rich Text Area and need to be no more than 100 words.

I found this to get me word count, but I cannot figure out how to have a field that can be used there. I was going to make a worflow to copy from those fiels to a text field, but the RTA will almost always have > 255 characters and thus be cut off.

Is there anyway to do this without manually copying to Word and running word count?

1 Answer 1


You can't reliably use LTA, RTA, or ETA fields (Long, Rich, Encrypted) in formulas, but you can in Apex Code. My solution would be simply:

trigger CheckWorkCount on SObject (before insert, before update) {
    for(SObject record: Trigger.new) {
        Integer count;
        if(record.RTA__c != null && (count = record.RTA__c
            .normalizeSpace() // Don't count duplicate spaces
            .stripHtmlTags() // Remove all HTML
            .replaceAll('\\S','') // Remove all non-spaces
            .length()) > 99) { // More than 99 spaces is more than 100 words
            record.RTA__c.addError('Please limit your input to 100 words or less. You currently have '+count+' words.');

I don't know of a non-code way of doing this, unfortunately.

If you want to store the count in another field, you can do that as well.

  • I have yet to dabble into Apex, but I think I could do this. I'd rather populate a Word Count field with the number of words. That should be simple, right?
    – Jmrburgard
    Nov 4, 2016 at 19:40
  • 1
    @Jmrburgard Yes, something like record.RTA_Word_Count__c = count;. I wish I had a better (configuration-only) way of doing this, but nothing comes to mind, since anything configuration-based would have the same formula limitations.
    – sfdcfox
    Nov 4, 2016 at 19:42

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