Want a simple way to count characters, words, and paragraphs in any Mac program? Mac OS X Hints shares an Automator script that adds a right-click option to selected text so you can get a word count in any program you want.
Word counts can be helpful in a variety of situations, especially in emails where you want to keep them down to a minimum most of the time. The Applescript that Automator runs will add the option to count characters when you select a block of text and right-click it. You can download a precompiled version over on Mac OS X Hints, but it renders the menu option in French for some reason.
To fix this, follow the directions over on Mac OS X Hints, but use commenter Newscientist's version of the code to correct the language. It's a handy little extra to add into OS X so you can get a quick word count anywhere.
Build a service to count characters, words, and paragraphs [Mac OS X Hints]