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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



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Panorama V 4.9.6 Released

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Panorama V 4.9.6 Released -- Back in September 2003, we noted in TidBITS-697 that ProVUE Development had released a public preview version of Panorama, their long-standing database program. Although Panorama V retains its preview status, it's working well in Mac OS X and ProVUE continues to add features quietly while moving toward a major release. New in the just-released Panorama 4.9.6 is a feature called Channels that links data in Panorama to the outside world in abstracted ways, initially via dialing the phone and sending email; a Channel Workshop wizard helps develop new channels. Another new feature, "generic fields," helps you link Panorama databases with similar information, and to link a database with external software such as Mac OS X's Address Book. More minor improvements include scroll wheel support, additional options for elements like checkboxes and radio buttons, support for building AppleScript scripts on the fly, and the capability to run procedures in the background. The upgrade is free to registered users of the preview version; anyone who wants to give Panorama V a spin can download the 7.4 MB file and use it with up to 250 records. [ACE]

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