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

 

 

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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

 
 

DEVONagent Lite, Express, and Pro 3.8

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DEVONtechnologies has updated all three editions of its DEVONagent research software (Lite, Express, and Pro) to version 3.8, updating nearly all of its plug-ins while also adding a language-aware “Shopping > Amazon” plug-in and a submenu that provides quicker access to recently used plug-ins and search sets. DEVONagent Express and Pro also add support for JSON-based plug-ins and search results from search engines in JSON format, improve the recognition of inactive results in the menu extra, add support for VoiceOver search results, and add support for Yahoo. On its own, DEVONagent Pro adds support for language-specific keywords entered in the address bar of browser windows (if available), brings support for FTP on OS X 10.9 Mavericks, and enables the optional UserAgent plug-in key to specify the HTTP user agent. (All updates are free. DEVONagent Lite, free, release notes; DEVONagent Express, $4.95 new, release notes; DEVONagent Pro, $49.95 new with a 25 percent discount for TidBITS members, release notes. 10.6.8+)

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

DEVONthink 2 offers a slew of features for defeating information overload, but mastering its power is easier with real-world advice from DEVONthink power-user Joe Kissell. He helps you understand what DEVONthink can do for you, the best ways to put information into DEVONthink, and how to organize it so you can find it later.

 

New for iOS 8: TextExpander 3 with custom keyboard.
Set up short abbreviations which expand to larger bits of text,
such as “Tx” for “TextExpander”. With the new custom keyboard,
you can expand abbreviations in any app, including Safari and
Mail. <http://smle.us/tetouch3-tb>