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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

 
 

Ergonis's KeyCue Offers Keyboard Shortcut Cheat Sheet

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Ergonis's KeyCue Offers Keyboard Shortcut Cheat Sheet -- KeyCue is a simple but ingenious Mac OS X application from Ergonis Software, makers of the invaluable PopChar X (see "Panther-Prepared PopChar Published" in TidBITS-699). Taking advantage of Panther's Accessibility API (which I described in "Scripting the Unscriptable in Mac OS X" in TidBITS-670), KeyCue reads through the menu items of the frontmost application, finds those that have keyboard shortcuts, and displays a window listing them when you hold down the Command key for a few seconds. A serious shortcoming of the menu paradigm, after all, is that it requires you to open each menu one at a time to hunt for a shortcut or menu item, with the result that you never get a conspectus of an application's shortcuts, and you probably never bother to memorize most of them because, having found the menu item you want, you then just choose it with the mouse. Using KeyCue for a little while, I find, quickly helps me remember the shortcuts for the menu items I use most often; and of course it also gives me a fast way, without hunting in the menus, to access the shortcuts I don't memorize and use less often. KeyCue isn't yet quite the utility I was hoping for; what I really want is a cheat sheet that lets me see and choose from all of an application's menu items, whether or not they have shortcuts, and I'd also like a cheat sheet showing all the global "hot keys" that various applications have installed. But it's certainly a big help, and the $15 pricing is reasonable. You can download a demo version (659K) to try for yourself; it shows all available shortcuts only for the first 10 invocations, after which it hides some of the shortcuts. [MAN]

<http://www.ergonis.com/products/keycue/>
<http://www.ergonis.com/products/popcharx/>
<http://db.tidbits.com/article/07372>
<http://db.tidbits.com/article/07102>

 

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