Blog / Productivity

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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