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Word and Character Count service for Mac OS X
-- Word and Character Count service for Mac OS X
-- Adds a Word and Character Count option to the text selection context menu
-- Use Automator to create a new service, then select the Run AppleScript action. Make
-- sure the service is set to receive "text", at the top of the window. Paste in this code
-- and save as "Word and Character Count". Now switch to a new app, select some text,
-- right-click, go to Services, and find the new option.
-- Copyright 2015, Noah Slater <>
-- Copying and distribution of this file, with or without modification, are permitted in
-- any medium without royalty provided the copyright notice and this notice are preserved.
-- This file is offered as-is, without any warranty.
on run {input, parameters}
tell application "System Events"
set _appname to name of first process whose frontmost is true
end tell
set word_count to count words of (input as string)
set character_count to count characters of (input as string)
tell application _appname
display alert "" & word_count & " words, " & character_count & " characters"
end tell
return input
end run

This is so great. I've needed this and was going to write myself a Chrome add-on, but I realized I needed it in the Creative Suite, as well. Thanks!


nslater commented Apr 5, 2012

You're welcome!

wmp3 commented Oct 12, 2012

awesome thanks

Thank you this is very helpful! After this I went to Services Preferences and made a new shortcut for this which simplifies it just that little bit more

soto97 commented May 31, 2013

That worked beautifully. Thanks for sharing.

Very useful bit of script, saves me having to copy and paste text into an editor every time I need to write a constrained amount in an email or web form. Thanks a lot!

Running 10.6. When I run it in Automator, I get the word and character count, but in any other app I get an error: "The action “Run AppleScript” encountered an error."


nslater commented Feb 12, 2014

@scienceandpoetry hmm, that's strange. It works for me. If you have a patch, let me know, and I'll update the code. Or if have steps to reproduce, share them, and I'll try to patch myself.

tbrown commented Apr 15, 2014

Thanks for this, Noah! Very helpful.

Thank you!

Awesome. Thanks!

Great, thanks!

This is great, thank you!

The code is 54 words, 386 characters :)

dieguico commented Aug 1, 2015

Nice job! :)

rhein commented Sep 2, 2015

Just what I need x times a day and always ended up using a text editor, thanks!

Thanks! Very usefull

zagen commented Oct 28, 2015

Very nice. Thanks.

This is awesome, thank you!

deikka commented Feb 1, 2016

Cool! Thanks

ngemily commented Mar 6, 2016

Excellent! Thanks for the code and the detailed instructions.

Thanks! I use this for checking simplicity of my writing. I added some very messaging to make rough sentence count and speaking time more accessible.

mec commented Jul 7, 2016

So, nice and simple - thanks for sharing!

voluntaryistonly commented May 2, 2017

Hi Love the Script, been using it for sometime now, just today came across a problem, the script stopped working & i get the following error messages:
1st alert window: "there was a problem with the input to the service" with 2 option buttons: "show workflow" & "ok"
2nd alert window: The "Word and Character Counter" service could not be used with 2 option buttons: "show workflow" & "ok"
I have checked the workflow, it is exactly as is listed above, device: mac mini, running latest version of El Capitan (10.11.6)
I could provide the console log, if you tell me what to look for (sorry not so techno)
thanks in advance,
ps: on firefox 53.0 (64bit) doesn't give error messages on other apps

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