Adding free text services

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Reader Mark Meyer longs for some productivity of old. He writes:

Under Leopard I had a service that allowed me to change the formatting of selected text (Small Caps, Sentence Case, Title Case, No Caps, All Caps…) unfortunately it broke under Snow Leopard. I have a widget that does something similar but would love to go back to using a service. Are you aware of any services for Snow Leopard that would give me back this functionality?

I am. Devon Technologies continues to offer the free WordServices set of services. This provides 34 functions including, among other things, all caps, lowercase, straight and smarten quotes, insert date and time, and initial caps of words and sentences.

To make it work, you create a Services folder within the Library folder inside your user folder (so ~/Library/Services) and then copy the WordService.service file into this folder. Log out of your account and then back in and… no, the services won’t be in evidence.

Snow Leopard's Services preferences

To present that evidence, launch System Preferences, select the Keyboard system preference, click on the Keyboard Shortcuts tab, and select the Services entry in the left side of the window (or, to get there faster, select the Services command within any application and choose Services Preferences). In the right side of the window locate the Text heading. Below this heading you’ll find the newly added services. To activate them, simply tick the checkbox next to the services you’d like to use.

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At a Glance
  • Pros

    • Generally faster than Leopard
    • Most applications run in 64-bit mode
    • Rudimentary malware checking
    • Supports Exchange
    • Improvements to Exposé and Dock


    • Many features won’t truly be exploited until Mac hardware evolves
    • Lackluster QuickTime Player update
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