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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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DealBITS Drawing: FMChecker

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FileMaker Pro 7 has been out for few months now, and since FileMaker Pro 6 soon won't be available for purchase, many people are facing the need to upgrade. But FileMaker Pro 7 is such a major change (so much so that William Porter called his TidBITS article about it "FileMaker Pro 7: Can You Say Paradigm Shift?") that upgrading an existing FileMaker solution could be truly difficult, particularly if you're dealing with someone else's badly documented databases. So if you're thinking about upgrading solutions created in FileMaker Pro 3, 4, 5, or 6, you might want to take a look at FMChecker, a inexpensive standalone utility (it doesn't run within FileMaker Pro or FileMaker Developer) that quickly reveals a large number of otherwise scattered and hidden details about your FileMaker Pro files. It can tell you if all referenced files exist in the current environment, what elements a formula uses, how many times a file has been closed improperly or recovered, if a file is currently in use, under what operating system and FileMaker version a file was last used, and much more. It runs in Mac OS 9, Mac OS X, and Windows, and a free preview version is available.


In this week's DealBITS drawing, you can enter to win one of five electronic copies of FMChecker, worth $50. Entrants who aren't among our lucky winners will receive a discount on FMChecker, so if you're interested in the program, be sure to enter at the DealBITS page linked below. All information gathered is covered by our comprehensive privacy policy. Be careful with your spam filters, since you must be able to receive email from my address to learn if you've won.



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