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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


Precipitate Shines Mac Spotlight into Google's Cloud

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Stuart Morgan of Google has released a free Mac OS X preference pane called Precipitate that enables Spotlight and Google Desktop to search documents stored in your Google Docs account, along with your Google Bookmarks.

We've been using Google Docs an increasing amount, and Precipitate worked fine in my initial Spotlight search tests for finding documents that exist only online. Clicking a found Google Docs document in the Spotlight search results opened it in my default browser, just as you'd expect. If you use either Google Docs or Google Bookmarks and Spotlight or Google Desktop, give Precipitate a try.

Future updates of Precipitate will likely support multiple Google accounts and some sort of automatic update functionality (so in the meantime, you'll need to check for updates manually at the Precipitate page). It's a 904K download and works in Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard; I haven't yet confirmed Tiger compatibility.


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