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I can put large text on the center of my screen with certain apps, such as Address Book (click on a phone number and choose "Show in Large Type") or using Quicksilver (type some text and choose the "Large Type" action).

Is there any way I can invoke this functionality from the terminal, to show arbitrary large text by writing, say, Applescript or a bash script?

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This is an insanely good question. – Jason Salaz Sep 16 '11 at 16:52
up vote 5 down vote accepted

Since you already have QuickSilver installed:

osascript -e 'tell application "Quicksilver" to show large type "your text here"'

You can use this to define a bash function (and put somewhere like ~/.profile):

function big {
        osascript -e "tell application \"Quicksilver\" to show large type \"$1\""

Then you can invoke it with arbitrary strings by doing

$ big "This will cause large text to appear"
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That works, but can it be done without Quicksilver? – Lorin Hochstein Sep 16 '11 at 17:34
growl supports text overlay from the command line - and it's fairly customizable even though most of the presets are for small - side of the screen display of text. I'd go with QuickSilver, though as it's easier to get exactly the format you ask. – bmike Sep 16 '11 at 17:52

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