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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

 
 

Portable DeskJet Trick

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We said in TidBITS-146 that Hewlett-Packard had come up with a Portable DeskJet, but no corresponding Portable DeskWriter, a seemingly-obvious move given the popularity of the PowerBooks. We don't have news about a Portable DeskWriter, but it turns out that you can achieve the same functionality using the PowerPrint 2.0 collection of printer drivers from GDT Softworks.

Generally available for about $95, PowerPrint supports over 1,000 printers, and according to Steve Gully of GDT, the HP DeskJet 500 driver works fine with the Portable DeskJet. PowerPrint includes a spooler and a parallel-to-serial converter cable for hooking to printers that only have a parallel port. If you travel regularly with a PowerBook and want to use printers wherever you end up, PowerPrint would be a good addition to your travelling kit.

GDT Softworks -- 800/663-6222

Information from:
Steve Gully -- 72137.3246@compuserve.com
Michael E. Costello -- Michael_E._Costello@fourd.com

 

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