The total number of characters includes referenced characters from tref reference, regardless of whether they are rendered.
The total number of characters is effectively equivalent to the length of the textContent attribute from the DOM Level 3 Core specification (section 1.4), if that attribute also expands tref elements.
retVal = object.getNumberOfChars();
- Scalable Vector Graphics: Text, Section 10.17.1
Microsoft Developer Network: [Windows Internet Explorer API reference Article]