Ya Gotta Love Free and Useful Stuff for Macs…

2 minute read
| Dr. Mac's Rants & Raves

Dr. Mac’s Rants & Raves
Episode #221

You’ve got to love things that are both free and useful… It’s hard not to like things that are useful and it’s harder not to like things that are both free and useful. Here are two things that are both. The first is my favorite  podcast of all time, a podcast focused on what’s going on under the hoods of your Apple devices. The second is a macOS Service that fixes funky text issues and much more.

My Favorite Free and Useful Podcast of All Time!

The podcast of which I speak (if you haven’t guessed), is our very own Mac Geek Gab with Dave Hamilton, John F. Braun, and (sometimes) Pilot Pete. I like it so much, in fact, I show my support by paying for a premium subscription every month for the past few years.

My favorite free and useful podcast of all time is Mac Geek Gab with Dave Hamilton and John F. Braun.

My favorite free and useful podcast of all time is Mac Geek Gab with Dave Hamilton and John F. Braun.

I never miss an episode—it’s like listening to NPR’s Car Talk with Click and Clack, but about Apple devices (mostly) instead of cars. I have a rather short attention span, and while many other podcasts have come and gone from my playlists over the past decade, this is one I look forward to each and every week.

From productivity tips and hints for macOS and iOS to “cool stuff found,” Dave and John promise will all learn at least four new things every week and I always do. If you’re interested in what’s happening under the hood of your Apple device, you’re sure to enjoy Mac Geek Gab.

By the way, the reason Mac Geek Gab is on my mind this week is that in Episode # 650 they discussed macOS Services and a free service I’d been using for so long I had forgotten it’s not part of the operating system.

Free and Useful macOS Services, at your Service!

Services are commands that appear in the Services menu of most apps and in most shortcut menus (Control or right-click), often allowing you to perform an action of the selected text or object. To enable or disable the services included with macOS, launch System Preferences; click the Keyboard icon; click the Shortcuts tab at the top; and then click Services in the list on the left. Scroll through the list on the right and enable checkboxes for services you want in your Services menu.

The Services System Preferences pane has lots of free and useful goodies preinstalled.

The Services System Preferences pane has lots of free and useful goodies preinstalled.

Tip: You can create a keyboard shortcut for a service by clicking it and then clicking the Add Shortcut button.

Tip-o’-the-hat:  Want to know more about Services? Read Jeff Butts excellent tutorial on customizing your Services menu. 

Now, in addition the dozens of useful services built into macOS, there is at least one third-party service I’d be lost without—WordService from DEVONtechnologies, which is free in the Mac App Store.

As its name implies, it’s a service that works with words. So, for most of its commands you need to select some text before you choose a command in the Services menu, such as:

  • smart quotes
  • lowercase
  • all caps
  • initial caps (words)
  • initial caps (sentences)
  • remove multiple spaces
  • remove hyperlinks

Other WordService commands insert variables and don’t require a text selection, such as:

  • insert time
  • insert long date
  • insert long date & time
  • insert short date
  • insert short date & time

There’s no reason not to install WordService and have these (and other) useful commands for mangling words available in your Services menus at all times.

…and that’s all he wrote.

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