text scripts for OS X

12 March 2010 at 11:59 (Uncategorized)

This week a couple of friends have independently remarked about a word-counting script I wrote some time ago. Back in the day I was using Quicksilver’s Large Type to display the results of the word count, however, with Quicksilver development dwindling I switched to spotlight sometime ago. So here’s a couple of alternatives. Just select the relevant text and then run the program using the launcher of your choice (e.g. the spotlight menu). All of these scripts work on any text that can be copied to the clipboard. If you want to build the first two scripts from the .scpt you’ll need to edit the application’s info file, as per the comments in the code.

First up, Word Count, which gets OSX to vocalise the number of words that are selected. You can download the application here and/or get the .scpt (source code) here.

Secondly, Text Statistics pops up a display notification with a count of the characters/words/paragraphs that are selected. You can download the application here or grab the .scpt here.

And for something a little different, Speak Text is a script which gets OSX to start speaking your selected text. I often use this for proof reading. Most of the time you can access speech from the contextual menu or services menu, but it isn’t available in some programs including Chrome and Firefox. If you want to stop the speech part-way through, command-tab to the running script and press command+period. You can grab the app here and the .scpt here.



  1. Kent said,

    There is a bug about whether the scripts use the selection or clipboard, but I can’t always reproduce it. Bugging the hell out of me. Good work anyway, thanks.

  2. monototo said,

    Bah! you’re right. I haven’t had enough time to look at this further – it’s annoying that the behaviour is so inconsistent. Thanks for pointing it out.

  3. selfish said,

    Brilliant! Thanks! I use text statistics, but renamed as Word Count because having it speak the result seems silly…but that’s just me. Cheers!

  4. monototo said,

    Ok, there’s a much better speech script here:

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