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Mac OS X Services in Snow Leopard

Mac OS X Services let one application supply its powers to another; for example, a Grab service helps TextEdit paste a screenshot into a document. Most users either don't know that Services exist, because they're in an obscure hierarchical menu (ApplicationName > Services), or they mostly don't use them because there are so many of them.

Snow Leopard makes it easier for the uninitiated to utilize this feature; only services appropriate to the current context appear. And in addition to the hierarchical menu, services are discoverable as custom contextual menu items - Control-click in a TextEdit document to access the Grab service, for instance.

In addition, the revamped Keyboard preference pane lets you manage services for the first time ever. You can enable and disable them, and even change their keyboard shortcuts.

Submitted by
Doug McLean

 
 

TidBITS Watchlist: Notable Software Updates for 23 May 2011

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Dolly Drive 1.2 -- The Dolly Drive online backup service has updated its software for redirecting Time Machine backups to the cloud. Dolly Drive 1.2 improves the performance of its local clone feature and correctly rebuilds a cache for smoother booting from the clone. Also, the Inclusions Assistant now defaults to no inclusions on its first run, the Dolly Drive main window shows your total Dolly Drive usage, and the Time Machine progress bar has been removed due to showing inconsistent results. (Free, but available only to subscribers)

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PDFpen and PDFpenPro 5.3 -- Smile has released new versions of PDFpen and PDFpenPro, their PDF manipulation software. Version 5.3 adds several security enhancements, including the capability to encrypt data using 128- and 256-bit Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) algorithms, which are preferred by the U.S. government and required for the storage of medical records. Also, AES-256 encryption in PDFpen now supports Unicode in passwords, and the encryption method can now be set via AppleScript. ($59.95/$99.95 new, free update, 41.4 MB)

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ProKit 7.0 -- Apple has released ProKit 7.0 , the set of libraries that power the user interface behind Apple’s professional apps like Final Cut Pro, Logic, and MainStage. Among other changes, the new release includes several bug and stability fixes, provides better font rendering, and improves support for popover-style tooltips. ProKit 7.0 is recommended for — and will be presented by Software Update to — users of Final Cut Pro, Motion, Soundtrack Pro, DVD Studio Pro, iPhoto, Aperture, Final Cut Express, Logic Pro, MainStage, Logic Express and iAd Producer. ProKit 7.0 requires Mac OS X 10.6.6 or later. (Free update, 15.7 MB)

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Digital Camera RAW Compatibility Update 3.7 -- With Digital Camera RAW Compatibility Update 3.7, Apple has updated its raw image support in Aperture 3 and iPhoto ’11 for several new cameras, including the FinePix 1000 from Fujifilm, the D5100 from Nikon, the E-PL2 and XZ-1 from Olympus, and Samsung’s GX-1S. (Free update, 6.62 MB)

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Mailplane 2.4 -- Despite the rise of social networking services, email is where the action is when it comes to getting things done, and to that end, Uncomplex’s Gmail-specific client Mailplane 2.4 has added support for the popular Evernote service. Designed for collecting information and, well, notes, Evernote can now be accessed directly from Mailplane such that you can create notes linking to a Mailplane conversation and import email attachments directly into Evernote. Other fixes in Mailplane 2.4 include problems with Quick Links not appearing in Mailplane’s Navigate list of labels and links, Mailplane’s main window showing up even when Mailplane was set as a hidden login item, exporting Word files from Google Docs, and more. ($24.95 new, free update, 21.5 MB)

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