Word Count is a free and simple to use system service for Mac OS X, that will quickly count words, characters and paragraphs in the currently selected text.
System services show up under the Services menu item in the application menu.
Word Count doesn't work in some applications. It works in TextEdit and inDesign, but doesn't work in Microsoft Word. It works in Safari, but not in Firefox. Some applications simply don't handle the clipboard in a standard fashion, preventing Word Count from working.
To make Word Count available for all user accounts on a Mac, copy WordCount.service to the /Library/Services folder. To make Word Count available to only the current user account on your Mac, copy WordCount.service to the ~/Library/Services folder. This is the Services folder within the Library folder of your home folder.
If the Services folder does not exist in the location you have chosen, you can create it yourself, just being sure to name it "Services".
When you have copied WordCount.service to one of these folders, you must log out of your account and log back in or restart your Mac.
Open a document in TextEdit. Select some text, and go to the Services menu item under the application menu, scroll all the way down and select Word Count. A dialog will pop open with information on the count of words, characters with spaces, characters without spaces and paragraphs.