How-to: Create a handy running word/character count in TextEdit

I write a lot for my work and projects, short-form, long-form and ultra-short for places like twitter and FB. Appropriate character and word counts makes my editor's lives easier and helps me to estimate.
If you a) use a Mac and b) you like the sparse simplicity of writing in TextEdit this short hack is for you. It should take about two minutes to set up. 

character count screenshot.jpg


1.) Go to Finder and type "AppleScript Editor" hit Enter once it finds it. Apple Script Editor will open.

 2.) When it starts click the New Document icon.

3.) Paste the script below (it's in italics) into your new document window.

tell application "TextEdit"

set wc to count words of document 1

set cc to count characters of document 1

if wc is equal to 1 then

set txt to " word and "


set txt to " words and "

end if

if cc is equal to 1 then

set txtc to " character."


set txtc to " characters."

end if

set result to (wc as string) & txt & (cc as string) & txtc

display dialog result with title "Word and character count" buttons {"OK"} default button "OK"

end tell

4.) On the toolbar click the Compile button (pickaxe), then click File > Save.

5.) When the Save As dialog box appears, type Shift+Cmd+G and in the new dialog box, type ~/Library/Scripts.

6.) Type Word Count into the Save As name field, and click the Save button.

7.) Switch back to the AppleScript Editor main window, and tap Cmd+, (comma) to open its Preferences dialog box.

8.) Click the General tab and make sure Show Script Menu in Menu Bar is checked.

9.) Close AppleScript Editor.

Whenever you want to perform a word/character count within TextEdit, click the small script icon at the top right of your Mac's window (near the the Wi-Fi icon) and select the Word Count option.