Apr 27 2009
One of the most unique and unused new features of OS X is support for “services”.
While OS X comes with it’s own set of services, today we’ll look into several free third-party system additions.
The same architecture that brings a system wide spell checking feature opens the door for a slew of enhancement for your Cocoa applications.
First, a note on “services”. These handy little applications live in their own little Services folder. Where that folder is located determines who gets to use the service. If you want all the users on your system to have use of the service, place it in the (hard drive)/Library/Services folder. To limit a services use to one user, place it in the /users/(username)/Library/Services folder.
As mentioned, OS X comes complete with a spell check. If your experience is anything like mine, you’ve found the spell check useful, but not always as capable of supplying useful alternatives. This is a weakness cocoAspell addresses. This alternative to the built-in spell check comes with a preference panel that lets you set a slew of options.
This handy service takes highlighted text from any Cocoa application and opens a Google search results window for it. Nothing complicated here. The service will use your default browser defined in your Internet pane of System Preferences. You can access this command from the application/services menu or with it’s keyboard shortcut shift-command-G.
As simple as the previous, this service takes a highlighted URL and sends it to your browser. The keyboard shortcut got this service is command-/. A note for OmniWeb users: you don’t need this as OmniWeb comes with its own “open with OmniWeb” service.
A very useful service for anyone, well, anti-Word. This service enables a text editing Cocoa application to open Word documents. Now, before you get too excited, realize that the service only handles text, and throws out formating and images. In truth, AntiWordService only strips out the formating and Word specific file data. Good for recovering text from Word documents, but not much more.
Thanks for joining me for a fresh load for freeware. Come back next week for more.