The first time I ever heard of a concordance was in a public library in the 1960s, when I saw one for the Bible--the King James version, probably. It listed the number of occurrences of every single word and indicated the context. What an odd project, I thought. Did some monk undertake this task in an isolated monastery after finishing his morning prayers? Or was it the work of a theologian who, having finally solved the angels-on-a-pin question, realized he still had spare time?
Between then and the late '80s the word "concordance" couldn't have escaped my lips more than once or twice, except perhaps to question the reason for their existence. If memory serves, the first version of Microsoft Word I encountered allowed the creation of such a curiosity.
The other day, though, I got to wondering. Does Word have such a function now? No. So I Googled the word and found a free third-party tool that does the job. I downloaded it and found it easy to use.
So why should you care? It turns out to be a nice proofreading tool. You can see if you may have overused a certain word, and it can help you find typos and inconsistencies. (Yeah, I know. Bo-o-o-oring! So all the more reason to have a tool that does the job quickly.) For example, did you hyphenate a word only part of the time? One of my current projects is editing a person's novel, and I am making one final pass through it. TextSTAT helps me find some of those annoying nits I might otherwise miss until the book goes into print.
Here is part of a sample output. Notice the sorting options on the right: