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WordServices: easy text operations in Mac OS X

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Services are one of the most interesting features of the new Apple operating system: synthetically these are elements, which can be called up from a submenu, which allow you to “synthesize” operations with a single command. The advantage, compared to scripting solutions, in the elegance of their implementation, being able to work "vertically" in a whole set of programs, those written according to the Cocoa dictates and the Carbon applications that support their use. Unjustly mistreated by the Cupertino programmers themselves, who often have forgotten to implement them in their same works, a useful collection of services comes from a German programmer, Christian Grunenberg, who designed 30 functions to convert, format or show statistics on a selection of the typed text in specially written Cocoa applications (such as: Textedit, Mail, Stickies , Notes, Fire, OmniWeb, ProjectBuilder or TeXShop).

The simple installation, since it is only a matter of copying the WordService element, in the Services folder, which in turn is contained in the Library folder of your Home-directory, just as it was done once, in the style of traditional Mac OS. a log-in will allow you to activate these features, which can be used by selecting text and choosing the desired menu from those available. A partial list of menus includes:

Insertion: – contents of the folder (ie the path, the "path"); – date, time, both;

Conversion: – line with Mac, Unix, Windows encoding; – all in lowercase, all in uppercase; – convert different types of quotation marks;

Formatting: – eliminates spaces at the beginning, end of line and multiple spaces; – sorts the lines, both ascending and descending; – eliminates the symbols of the "quoting" of emails; – reformats (a combination of all the previous ones);

Statistics: a function that does not modify the selected text, but counts the characters, spaces, words and lines, presenting a summary screen.

Many of these operations can be activated by means of a combination of keys, which can however be modified by editing the "info.plist" file, contained within the package, by means of which it is possible to go down to a really deep level of customization, also eliminating example, the items that are not of interest to you. These procedures, plus a list of known bugs, are contained in the readme attached to the current release 2.3.1 available, which is enriched with the translation, the menu items, in Italian. The packages and everything you need to know about them can be found on the author's website.