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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 15-Dec-08

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BBEdit 9.1 from Bare Bones Software updates the powerful text editor with a revamped internal FTP implementation, a new default font (Consolas Regular), and lots of other enhancements and bug fixes. ($125 new, free update, 15.5 MB)

SOHO Labels 4.0 from Chronos is a major upgrade to the envelope and label design software. Changes include a new one-click address formatting feature that enables users to change the address by contact listing, added U.S. Postal FIM support that improves the mail deliverability, viewable U.S. postal guidelines, an Image Kit Browser that enhances image management, and new image shape and resizing tools. For the holidays Chronos is offering a bonus Christmas and Hanukkah artwork collection for creating holiday envelopes, cards, and labels. Requires Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard or later. ($39.99 new, $19.99 upgrade, 84 MB)

DiscLabel 5.4.1 from SmileOnMyMac is a minor update to the CD and DVD label design software. New to this version is an opacity filter that enables full layers to be made transparent. The update also fixes various bugs, including ones that involve the deleting of designs from the design list and sporadic shadow drawing appearing on images. ($35.95 new, free update, 12.7 MB)

Sandvox 1.5.3 from Karelia Software is a minor maintenance update to the template-based Web site creation tool. Changes include improved support for animated GIFs and enhanced third party plug-in loading. Also, between 10-Dec-08 and 24-Dec-08, Karelia is offering 20 percent off any purchase accompanied by the coupon code SANTAVOX. ($49 Regular/$79 Pro, free update, 26 MB)

Keyboard Maestro 3.5 from Stairways Software adds to the macro utility a Keyboard Maestro Control app for the iPhone and iPod touch that enables you to execute any macro from your iPhone or iPod touch, just as though you were sitting at your Mac. Possible uses include launching or quitting applications, restarting or shutting down the Mac, executing an AppleScript, and more. Other changes include iTunes song rating capabilities for the current track, iTunes volume controls, and a variety of interface refinements. ($36, free update, 6.3 MB)

PowerMail 6.0 from CTM Development is a major revision of the longstanding alternative email client. Among 50 new improvements, significant changes include the capability to create HTML-formatted messages, Finder-like message lists, thread searching/viewing capabilities, Quick Look support for displaying graphics and other files, support for MobileMe and iPhone mail synchronization, and Apple Mail and Thunderbird batch import options. A full list of changes is available on the CTM Development Web site. (49 euros new, 24 euros upgrade, 13.5 MB)

 

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