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Count Characters and Words within Selected Text with Keyboard Maestro

For many rea­sons you might want to know the exact num­ber of char­ac­ters in a piece of text. Writing head­lines for arti­cles and blog posts, espe­cial­ly if you hope they’ll be shared on Twitter, is just one of many rea­sons. Until and unless Twitter removes that 140 char­ac­ter lim­it, craft­ing the per­fect tweet, with room for oth­ers to retweet, means count­ing char­ac­ters.

Knowing the num­ber of words in a selec­tion is an even more com­mon need for pro­fes­sion­al and ama­teur writ­ers, copy­writ­ers, jour­nal­ists, and many oth­ers. Applications like Microsoft Word, InCopy, and SimpleNote offer built-in word count abil­i­ty, but why not have the abil­i­ty to count words every­where you might write words on your Mac?

My macro gives you that abil­i­ty with instant, accu­rate char­ac­ter and word counts from any selec­table text at the press of a but­ton. It dis­plays an alert show­ing the char­ac­ter and word count in the high­light­ed text when you press Control+C (see Figure 1.).

The popup showing the character and word count of the selected text.

Figure 1: The pop­up show­ing the char­ac­ter and word count of the select­ed text.


If you only want to count char­ac­ters and not words, use my ear­li­er Keyboard Maestro macro.

How to Use It

Highlight your select­ed text and exe­cute the macro by press­ing Control+C or using an alter­nate trig­ger you select. Up will pop a noti­fi­ca­tion with an accu­rate char­ac­ter count of the high­light­ed text.

The Keyboard Maestro Recipe

The macro recipe itself is rel­a­tive­ly sim­ple. You can either recre­ate my macro with the recipe image below or down­load it.

Pariah Burke's Get Character Count and Word Count Keyboard Maestro Macro

How to Install the Downloaded Macro

After down­load­ing this macro, open Keyboard Maestro Editor. Use the File > Import Macros com­mand to locate and import the macro.

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