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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


Fun with the Finder

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Virtually every article ever written about ResEdit warns you to always work on a copy and to keep backups and so on. This warning has become somewhat cliche, but we're going to do it anyway: only work on a copy of the file and keep backups. We recommend always using the latest version of ResEdit since Apple does make significant improvements to each new version. As of the publication date, the latest version we've seen is 2.1.1. With all of these procedures for modifying the Finder, you'll have to drag the original out of the System Folder, drag your modified copy into the System Folder, and reboot before any changes will take effect. Finally, ResEdit is not for the timorous. Because of that, we have not taken a hand-holding approach to the directions, so if you have no idea what the directions mean, feel free to experiment, but make sure that you're working on a copy and that you don't throw the original Finder out until you have determined that your copy works fine. 'Nuff said.

We should note that there are several shareware utilities that will do some of this dirty work for you. Check out the System 7 Pack from Adam Stein for application substitution, rename delay editing, and adding command keys to the Finder. FileEdit (soon to be called FinderEdit) can add substitute applications, and the freeware extension UnderStudy can do the same, although UnderStudy requires the use of ResEdit to configure your substitutions. Connectix makes the most powerful utility in this arena, Hand-Off II, which can not only substitute different applications for standard document formats but goes one further by allowing you to substitute (for example) Nisus for all documents that have been created by Word, no matter what type (TEXT, WDBN, etc.) those files may have. Finally, a small application called Anti-Finder can quit the Finder and then launch it again.

In a bit, the tricks, but first a note from Eric, who contributed much of this issue and a bunch of tips on System 7 for a forthcoming issue. "The following are various tricks I've come across. If you have any questions drop me a line. These are my tips, not Apple's!"

Information from:
Eric Apgar --
Robert Hess --
Adam C. Engst --
Trey Campbell --
Russ Arcuri -- raa92@


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