Mac 911

Today's Best Tech Deals

Picked by Macworld's Editors

Top Deals On Great Products

Picked by Techconnect's Editors

Subpar Service

I want to highlight text in an application, choose Send Selection from that program’s Services menu, and watch as a new message opens in Apple’s Mail with the selected text ready to send. Instead, the Mail application window comes to the fore, but the message with the selected text does not. Is there a solution for this problem?Larry Singer

Look at the goal rather than the tool. The Send Selection service is an inadequate tool not only because it doesn’t bring a new e-mail message to the fore, but also because it works only with Apple’s Mail. When I want to mail a chunk of text automatically, I use Script Software’s $30 macro utility, iKey. It gets the job (and any number of other jobs) done, and it does so with any e-mail client you want to use.

With iKey, I created a macro for copying text to an e-mail message; the macro copies the selected text, launches my e-mail program, hides other applications to ensure that the e-mail client is the foremost app, creates a new message, and pastes the copied text into the message body.

Multilingual Mac

I’m a bilingual Mac user who wants to use Mail’s Autocorrect spelling feature in French but keep the Finder in English. Can I apply language preferences individually to Apple’s applications?Eric Maillard

By default, no. You can, however, choose a different spelling checker and use it to check your text. I suggest the free CocoAspell, Kevin Atkinson’s Mac OS X implementation of the popular open-source spelling checker. After installing CocoAspell and its supplemental French dictionary, you can ask it to use that dictionary in any OS X application that uses Apple’s spelling checker (including Mail).

This requires some configuring. For example, when you type

Le singe est dans l’arbre
(“The monkey is in the tree”), Mail signals its ignorance of the whereabouts of le singe by placing a red line under l’arbre. Simply control-click on the underline, choose Spelling from the resulting contextual menu, and choose Française (Aspell) from the Dictionary pop-up menu. Mail will then come to grips with the fact that le singe has made himself at home in a nearby tree. For finer control—such as a French-Canadian dictionary and the ability to assign particular dictionaries to specific applications—try Rainmaker Research’s $40 Spell Catcher X.

Finding Sherlock’s Movies

Sherlock’s Movies channel has stopped downloading trailers. I’ve trashed the file in the hope that this would help. It didn’t. Do you have a hint?Paul Miller

Yours is a two-part problem. Sometimes movie previews don’t load because of a failure on Apple’s end. In such cases, you can wait until Apple fixes it, or you can simply click on Sherlock’s Movie Information For link, which will whisk you to the Moviefone site, where you can view the trailer (See screenshot). If Apple has managed to get the feature working again, vaporize not only that .plist file (found at your user folder /Library/Preferences), but also Sherlock’s cache folder ( your user folder /Library/Caches/ Sherlock). If that doesn’t work, create a new user account, switch to that account, copy its .Sherlock.plist file and Sherlock cache folder to the root level of your hard drive, switch back to your primary account, and replace that user’s files with the ones from the account you just created.

Phoning It In

When I used FileMaker Pro on a Power Mac 8600, I could develop and run a script that dialed the phone. FileMaker 6 and 7 lack this functionality. Can I get it back?Bob Coffield

OS X doesn’t support the Dial Phone script step. All is not lost, however. Automated Workflows’ $15 Dial Phone From X, an AppleScript-based program, can dial the phone from applications including Address Book, Microsoft Excel, and FileMaker, with the assistance of Macron Soft’s $12 ABDialer 2.

Quite a Character

I just upgraded to Microsoft PowerPoint 2004, and now when I launch the program I see an alert that displays what appear to be Asian characters and a message that claims this font is unavailable on my computer. My presentations don’t use this font, so why the substitution?Ken Chupp

PowerPoint 2004 displays this error message when it’s missing an Asian font that’s installed with OS X or a font that Microsoft Office installs when it first runs. The missing Apple font is likely to be Hiragino Kaku Gothic Pro, and the Microsoft font is MS PMincho.

At this point, you have a couple of options. You can enable the fonts (or install them if they’re missing), or you can tell PowerPoint to live without them.

To instruct PowerPoint to proceed without certain fonts, open your PowerPoint presentation and choose Format: Replace Fonts. Select the Asian font in the Replace pop-up menu, choose something more appropriate in the With field (Times, for example), and click on Replace. The new font you’ve selected will replace all instances of the old one.

With luck, these fonts may still be on your Mac. To find out, launch Panther’s Font Book, select All Fonts from the Collection column, and peer into the Font column. If one or both fonts are disabled, select them and click on Enable.

If the Hiragino font is missing, you could get it back by reinstalling OS X, but there’s an eas-ier way. Download Charles Srstka’s $20 share-ware utility Pacifist, and use it to extract the font from the Panther installer disc(s). You’ll find the font by following this path: Contents of OSInstall.mkpkg/Contents of EssentialSystemSoftware.mkpkg/Contents of Essentials.pkg/ System/Library/Fonts.

Note that the font’s name includes a series of Japanese characters that you might not be able to read. The font you want has a name that ends with Pro W4.otf, and it weighs in at 9.6MB. It normally lives in the Fonts folder within the System folder—a folder for which you lack permissions. If you’d rather not change those permissions, simply add the font to your user account’s Font folder ( your user folder /Library/Fonts).

If the Microsoft font is missing, insert your Office 2004 disc, open the Microsoft Office 2004 folder, the Office folder therein, and then the Fonts folder inside that folder. Copy the MS PMincho font to your user account’s Fonts folder.

[ That guy with the headphones planted in his ears is Christopher Breen, ’s editor in chief and the author of the upcoming Secrets of the iPod , fifth edition (Peachpit Press, 2005) ]

Incredible as it may seem, clicking on Sherlock's Movie Information for a link may be the only way to view movie trailers in Sherlock.
1 2 3 Page 1
Page 1 of 3
Shop Tech Products at Amazon