With Mac OS 8's contextual menu technology and the combination of Apple Data Detectors and Internet Address Detectors (ADD/IAD), you can highlight a block of text in almost any application, then choose actions for any URLs, email addresses, newsgroup names, or other particular items the text contains. (See "Of Mice and Menus" and "More Context on Contextual Menus" in TidBITS 398 and 399.) This week's release of ADD/IAD 1.0.2 optimizes performance, adds more plug-ins for interacting with FileMaker Pro and QuarkXPress, and adds the ability to disable contextual menus in selected applications. Although Apple steered developers away from Control-click combinations for years, Mac OS 8's contextual menus can still interfere with some programs. (When using the Path tool in Adobe Photoshop, for example, Control-clicking brings up a contextual menu instead of changing the Path tool's function.) Under ADD 1.0.2, you can turn off contextual menus in any application by choosing an item from the Help menu when the application is active. Some applications that implement their own contextual menus (such as BBEdit) may not offer the exclusion option under Help. ADD/IAD 1.0.2 is a 1.9 MB download; you'll need DiskCopy 6.1 or Aladdin's ShrinkWrap 3.0 to access the disk image.
Improve Apple Services with AirPort Base Stations
You can make iChat file transfers, iDisk, and Back to My Mac work better by turning on a setting with Apple AirPort base stations released starting in 2003. Launch AirPort Utility, select your base station, click Manual Setup, choose the Internet view, and click the NAT tab. Check the Enable NAT Port Mapping Protocol (NAT-PMP) box, and click Update. NAT-PMP lets your Mac OS X computer give Apple information to connect back into a network that's otherwise unreachable from the rest of the Internet. This speeds updates and makes connections work better for services run by Apple.