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.

You may also like...

3 Responses

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: