IconBoy: since you talked about OutlookExpress I assume that's what you'd like to se a character count for in this thread also. I tried making a small AHK script that grabs the text from the new message window but I didn't get the preferred method to work (that is, this did not work: ControlGetText, some_output_variable_name, Internet Explorer_Server1, ahk_class ATH_Note ). I think it has to do with the type of control that the new message window is. Without finding a way to work on that control directly I can only think of quite messy ways to count the characters through AHK. For example: send ctrl+A (select all) and ctrl+C (copy) to the text, count the number of copied characters and tell you the result. Like this, assuming that the email input box in the new message window has focus:
StringLen, xvar2, clipboard
TrayTip,, string length = %xvar2%,2
Drawbacks with that: 1. requires manual input (pressing F7 above, or some other hotkey) since letting the script autorun repeatedly would prevent the user from adding text due to the select all step (ctrl+a), 2. the text selection is noticeable and so visually disturbing and 3. the current input prompt position is lost due to the select all step.
Still, that kind of character counting on hotkey press might be enough in some situations perhaps?