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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: Rogue Amoeba's Fission

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All too often we see products released with relatively basic feature sets, after which they evolve into powerful applications used by professionals. That leaves few choices for those who want a simple, focused program. Think about how that's happened with page layout, graphics, and Web authoring tools, as well as audio editing applications. That's why it's great to see programs like Rogue Amoeba's Fission, which is a simple audio-manipulation program that handles numerous audio formats and provides lossless editing of MP3 and - uniquely on the Mac - unprotected AAC files. Unlike high-end audio programs, Fission doesn't attempt to do everything; it focuses on helping you trim, split, and manipulate audio files for cleaning up podcasts, making ringtones, eliminating commercials from recorded radio shows, and more (for additional details, see "Fission Manipulates Audio Tracks of All Stripes," 2006-09-25). Also unlike high end audio programs, Fission doesn't come with a high price tag.

In this week's DealBITS drawing, you can enter to win one of three copies of Fission, each worth $32. Entrants who aren't among our lucky winners will receive a discount on Fission, so 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. Remember, too, that if someone you refer to this drawing wins, you'll receive the same prize as a reward for spreading the word.

 

New for iOS 8: TextExpander 3 with custom keyboard.
Set up short abbreviations which expand to larger bits of text,
such as "Tx" for "TextExpander". With the new custom keyboard,
you can expand abbreviations in any app, including Safari and
Mail. <http://smle.us/tetouch3-tb>