AbstractQualitative lignin analysis relies rather much on studies of lignin degradation products. As concerns precise quantification of lignin’s composition such studies in general have obvious limitations. Aromatic acids obtained on permanganate oxidation of pretreated lignins (cleavage of ethers and alkylation of phenolic groups) offer a possibility to estimate the amounts of differently substituted aromatic units in lignins. An equation is derived for the calculation of the gross composition of lignins based on the yields of methoxy-substituted aromatic acids obtained on permanganate oxidation of lignins with methylated phenolic groups. The equation could also be used for the calculation of the phenolic content in a lignin sample based on permanganate oxidation data, provided that such data are available for a similar lignin sample with known phenolic content. Literature data for milled wood lignin from spruce are used to exemplify the calculations.