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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 24 February 2014

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SuperDuper 2.7.2 -- After a long wait, Shirt Pocket has released SuperDuper 2.7.2 with full support for OS X 10.9 Mavericks, including a workaround for a problem in Mavericks with Spotlight handling, plus the return of auto-mount and auto-eject for scheduled copies. (For some technical background on the delay, see this Shirt Pocket blog post.) The drive-cloning and backup app also makes volume size information available in the source and destination pop-ups, improves Smart Update speed, transitions scheduling from cron to launchd, and does away with annoying and incorrect security prompts associated with scheduled copies. SuperDuper 2.7.2 now requires 10.6 Snow Leopard or later, but version 2.7.1 is still available for those running 10.4 Tiger and 10.5 Leopard. (Free for basic functionality, $27.95 for additional features, free update, 2.9 MB, release notes)

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PDFpen and PDFpen Pro 6.1.5 -- Smile has released version 6.1.5 of its PDFpen and PDFpenPro, a small update that nonetheless includes some important fixes to a few possible issues that were introduced in the last update (see “PDFpen and PDFpen Pro 6.1.4,” 13 February 2014). The release fixes an issue that caused password-protected PDFs to appear blank when opened, resolves several crashing bugs (including one while printing), and improves responsiveness when using a tablet with the scribble tool. Version 6.1.5 is also available for the Mac App Store versions of PDFpen and PDFpenPro, with the latter receiving an increased page limit to 999 when creating a PDF from HTML. ($59.95/$99.95 new with a 20 percent discount for TidBITS members, 52.5/53.3 MB, release notes)

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Vox 2.0.1 -- Coppertino has released Vox 2.0.1, a maintenance release for the minimalist music player, which was recently reviewed by Kirk McElhearn (see “Vox 2.0: A Minimalist Music Player that Needs Work,” 4 February 2014). The update returns a feature where you can add music files via drag-and-drop without replacing the currently playing track, and it adds support for global hotkeys (as well as some unspecified in-app hotkeys). It also fixes errant behavior and crashes associated with Search mode, ensures the app doesn’t freeze while loading an iTunes library, squashes a bug that prevented a tracks list from displaying after double-clicking to open, fixes issues with Repeat modes, and properly displays FLAC and APE files in Search mode. (Free from the Mac App Store, 11 MB)

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