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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

 
 

TidBITS Watchlist: Notable Software Updates for 08-Sep-08

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  • Dialectic 1.2 from JNSoftware adds to the phone dialing utility support for dialing the iPhone via Bluetooth, a color setting for the alert window, improved phone number formatting in the Address Book menu, better reliability of dialing via the Phlink Dial Method, and additional scripts for dialing VoIP services. ($25, free update, 6.1 MB)
  • Sandvox 1.5 from Karelia Software is a major update to the company's Web site creation software. Improvements include changes that make it easier to publish media-intensive Web sites, updates pagelets that provide additional functionality on pages, seven new page designs, new blogging features, the capability to edit multiple pages simultaneously, improved compatibility with MobileMe, and more. ($49 Regular/$79 Pro, free update, 26 MB)
  • Simon 2.4.2 from Dejal Systems updates the Internet monitoring tool to work around an Apple bug that could cause remote volumes to not unmount properly, updates Twitter support with the latest version of the Twitter engine, fixes problems with the iPhone and RSS report templates, and more. ($29.95 to $195, free update, 10.8 MB)
  • PCalc 3.3 from TLA Systems is the first major revision of the fully featured scientific calculator in almost two years. It includes the improvements made in TLA's recent PCalc for iPhone, adds a new default appearance, makes RPN mode behave more like HP calculators, adds fuel efficiency conversions, adds keyboard shortcuts to the Dashboard widget, provides smarter Undo/Redo support, and fixes a few bugs. ($19, free upgrade, 2.5 MB)
  • Sound Studio 3.5.7 from Freeverse fixes a bug in the popular sound editor that prevented Automator actions and Sound Studio's Monbots automation tools from opening files. It also corrects an AppleScript error in the Bookend Audio Monbot when running under Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard. ($79.95 new, free update, 34.7 MB)
  • Tinderbox 4.5.1 from Eastgate Systems enhances the "personal content assistant" with numerous cosmetic improvements, including new shapes for maps, customizable drop shadows, and improved typography. Outline titles can now extend to multiple lines; outlines can be edited in place; agents update more quickly; and agents and containers can have pull-down summary tables, sparkline plots, and bar graphics. Tinderbox 4.5 also features better address book and vCard integration, with automatic linking. ($229 new, free updates for purchases within the last year or $90 otherwise, 16.8 MB)

 

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