Thoughtful, detailed coverage of the Mac, iPhone, and iPad, plus the best-selling Take Control ebooks.

 

 

Pick an apple! 
 
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

 
 

“Take Control of PDFpen 6” Documents PDFpen for Mac and iOS

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If you’re wrangling PDFs using Smile’s PDFpen 6 or PDFpenPro 6 on the Mac, perhaps along with Smile’s iOS apps, PDFpen for iPad and PDFpen for iPhone, take note, since our new “Take Control of PDFpen 6” provides full documentation of the Mac versions and an explanation of how to use the touch-based interface of the small-screen iOS apps, plus help on moving documents between the versions using iCloud, iTunes, Dropbox, and iOS’s Open In controls.

As massively useful as PDFpen is, working with PDFs — regardless of the app — can be complex, and author Michael E. Cohen clarifies and demystifies the confusing bits. After a whirlwind overview of the PDF format sets you on the right track, Michael walks you through PDFpen’s tools and navigation, along with the many ways you can create a PDF from within the program. You’ll learn how to take notes on a PDF, copyedit and comment on a PDF, fill out PDF forms (complete with your signature!), add and remove pages, and edit text and graphics in a PDF. You’ll even find out how to export a PDF to a formatted Microsoft Word document. For PDFpenPro users, Michael explains how to create an interactive PDF form and get the user-submitted data back via email or the Web, plus how to control whether a PDF can be printed, modified, annotated, and more. An appendix describes the many useful AppleScripts that ship with PDFpen.

So if you’re looking for help with all of PDFpen’s many features, or moving files between the Mac and iOS apps, check out “Take Control of PDFpen 6” — it’s only $10 for a 177-page book, available now in PDF (natch), EPUB, and Mobipocket (Kindle) formats. If you don’t yet own PDFpen and are frustrated by the limited features for working with PDFs in Preview, remember that TidBITS members save 20 percent on PDFpen when purchasing from Smile’s site (click through from your Member Benefits page).

Check out the Take Control ebooks that expand on the topic in this article:

Produce and polish PDFs with aplomb using Smile's PDFpen, for a fraction of what Adobe Acrobat costs! Michael E. Cohen explains how you can create, combine, edit, annotate, and protect PDFs. Also learn how to perform OCR, fill out forms, sign forms digitally, make interactive forms, and much more. Covers Mac and iOS versions!

 

Updated! PDFpen for iPad 1.7: Designed for iOS 7, faster, and
better-looking. Edit your PDFs anywhere. Sign contracts, make
changes, fill forms, and more. All while you’re on the move.
Syncs via iCloud and Dropbox. <http://smle.us/tbpdfpen-ipad>